Just a Lonely Fart – Kal Marks

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Earthy Boston trio Kal Marks specialize in heavy, noisy indie rock with gritty hooks. If you listen closely, there is still a bit of folky twang left over from the band’s beginnings as the solo project of frontman Carl Shane. On their latest three-song EP, Just a Lonely Fart, Kal Marks push this sound even further with rawer production and instrumentation than their excellent 2013 full-length, Life Is Murder. Kal Marks sound more surreal and eerie than ever.

All three tracks serve as an excellent showcase for Shane’s captivating and gravelly voice. Opening track, “Zimmerman,” is a misleadingly catchy introduction. Harrowing and impactful lyrics appropriately evoke the tragedy of Trayvon Martin and the injustice of George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict while not being too heavy-handed; Shane finds a way to give the lyrics a more universal meaning. “Don’t Pussy Foot With a Pussy Footer” hits hard and fast and serves as an excellent bridge to the EP’s best track, “It Was a Very Hard Year.” Shane delivers what is possibly his most guttural vocal performance to date as bassist Michael Geacone and drummer Nick Eggersheim punctuate his every word. You feel his anguish building into the stunning climax as he screams, “it was a hard, hard year,” and repeats to devastating effect.

The production gives the arrangement more space and room to breathe, effectively giving each individual performance their needed clarity. The band also experiment with some new and unexpected elements. A dissonant organ in the latter half of the final track sounds strange at first, but fits the mood. Just a Lonely Fart hints at greater things to come from a resourceful band who already have several passionate releases. This is just the latest example of this, proving that, even in short form, they are a clever bunch and can write songs with a hard-hitting mix of dark yet hopeful sincerity.

 



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