If you asked me what I was doing back in 2008 or 2009, odds are I wouldn’t really know without checking some journals aside from living in Texas so the idea of what music I was listening to at the time also becomes somewhat of a mystery. At almost any other given point in time, you could take a five year chunk and things would stay pretty consistent, but from 2009 to 2014 there have been many changes within music, in terms of the digital qualities of it as well as the platforms in which it is out there (from social media expanding to Bandcamp not being around or as prevalent)
In fact, one of the first songs on this cassette by Marko and the Bruisers makes a shout out to Myspace, which still remains as a shell of its former self but is clearly not the monster that it once was even five years ago (Though this song would have been six years ago plus any added mileage for having written it)
What I find to be of particular interest for this cassette is that many of the songs are acoustic in their delivery and as such this would adhere more to the modern standards of what has become known as folk punk. If indeed folk punk was a thing back in 2008/2009 it wasn’t nearly as advanced as it is now and as such you might say that Marko and the Bruisers were some sort of early pioneers of the genre.
On some overall level, I can hear undertones of Social Distortion coming out and thus assume that was a big influence on Marko and possibly the Bruisers as well. On the 2008 side, we get electric and that brings out some NOFX comparisons as well. There is also this raw quality to the 2008 side, especially near the end, where it might not sound like the best recording quality but I feel it remains true to the time.
On Side B, which is 2009, there are some pretty solid songs- the third being one of them- and some of them repeat from that acoustic vibe into the full on electric band feel. We also get some audio clips, which bring out the likes of Bill Murray amongst others, and it’s nothing short of what it happening right now in the folk punk/cassette scene.
See what it comes down to is that Marko and the Bruisers have made a cassette here that in terms of 2014 folk punk would be up there as one of the top releases of the year. Yet, this wasn’t released in 2014 in the sense that it was recorded within the last few years but rather is a new collection of older songs. You could call them ahead of their time or whatever you will, but this is a solid release that perhaps is more credible now even than when it originally came out.