Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Music Review //
Mark Peters and The Dark Band
"Sum of All Parts"
(Audio Heart Records)

The reason why I listen to at least thirty seconds of a song before writing it off can be found with Mark Peters and The Dark Band.    When "Sum of All Parts" starts, I'm not quite sure of it right away.   It's quiet and slow for about the first thirty seconds, where it's got this slow dance country feel to it and I'm just not sure if it's something I'll like or not.   I do enjoy the line "Time will take us all in the end" though, so I keep listening and just when I seem to grow comfortable with the song at this pace, with this sound it kicks into something heavier.   It's not quite Flogging Molly but there are elements of it in there (from their "Swagger" album) and it just changes gears quickly.

Aside from reminding me why I should listen to songs all the way through before deciding whether or not I like them (There just isn't enough time!) the slow and intense vibe on the titular track has sing along sounds like Billy Joel but ultimately reminds me of The Honorary Title, who I don't do enough comparisons with these days so I can dig it.  "The older I've become the less I believe in anything" is a line that just hits home with me, for reasons I won't go into it hits especially hard right now.

"Failure Is My Friend" has a softer, folk feel to it while "Bone Dry" is acoustic in its roots as well but picks up to a faster pace and really just lets the soul shine through.   "High and Lows" is slower, darker and overall these songs make me think of something like Sparklehorse, if only in the way that one would describe the music of Sparklehorse to someone else.   They share similar qualities in how their music would be described but perhaps not as similar in the delivery.

Within these four songs, you can feel the tempo change from slower to faster but the intensity is there the entire time.   It's not right away, but during the first minute of this EP, the music will grip you, it will pull you in and it will never let you go.   I can use terms like "folk" and "rock" and "acoustic" to help you better understand the sounds in terms of what instruments were used in making them, but you really should listen to this EP more for the raw emotions it not only leaves after it's over but that can also bring out in you while listening to it.

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