Label: Dirtnap Records
Produced: The Marked Men
Jeff Burke – guitar, lead vocals
Mark Ryan – guitar, lead vocals
Joe Ayoub – bass
Mike Throneberry – drums, backing vocals
1. All in Your Head – 2:13
2. Ditch – 1:51
3. Fortune – 1:57
4. My Love – 1:56
5. I Must Be Dead – 1:55
6. Head Set – 1:35
7. Locked Up – 1:16
8. Not That Kid – 1:54
9. Stay Away – 1:52
10. Get to You – 2:14
11. Ghosts – 2:26
12. Shaky Ground – 1:28
13. Red Light Rumors – 2:06
14. One More Time – 2:44
15. Blew My Head – 2:57
On Tuesday, June 30th, I went to lunch with Lisa Fancher, and as I’ve written about before I picked her brain about the history of Frontier Records, and what was coming up, etc. And Lisa humored me pretty well during all of my fan-boy questions. After lunch she asked me if I had ever heard of Marked Men? And unfortunately I had to admit, I hadn’t. So, she popped on their latest album – Ghosts, and I was impressed. She gave me her copy, and I came home and listened to it a couple more times. And it’s still pretty damn good.
It was hard to find info on the former Razorcake cover boys. They have a site listed on their My Space page, but it hasn’t been updated since 2007. They have another URL, but nothing comes up, and they have 4 or 5 different labels, but everything seems re-released on Dirt Nap, so good luck.
The album Ghosts is Marked Men’s fourth album (previous albums were: The Marked Men, On The Outside, Fix My Brain) by the Denton, Texas band. Like their previous albums, the band recorded, produced, and mixed it themselves back in Denton.
Besides the four albums, Marked Men have released three singles: I Can’t Be Good (2003), She Won’t Know / Nothing’s Changed (2005), Fortune (2008). And I think I saw something about a split floating around out there.
The album received positive reviews from critics:
Bryne Yancey of Punknews.org said, “There’s so much going on underneath the surface of these songs that once all the intricacies hit your ears, it might cause you to wonder aloud if anyone else who’s not in the band notices them. Sure, anyone can listen to the Marked Men, but to hear them is a completely different experience.”
Luke Jackson of Alternative Press noted “To be perfectly honest, Ghosts won’t grab you at first. Sure, they’re a band playing loud, fast, and exceptionally tight, but the pop-punk market has been so over saturated that it takes a lot for a band like Marked Men to be anything but white noise. However, once you hit your fourth or fifth listen, the hooks will finally start to sink in.”
If you get the chance to get a copy, go do it.
Rating: ** * two out of three stars
On to the story . . .
I have been dealing, and/or selling comic books on and off for about twenty years. In 1989 my brother and I did a series of conventions. We rented out a banquet hall at a small motel. And for the second convention my brother had artist Tim Vigil fly down from Sacramento to be the guest. I asked Harlan Ellison, famed science fiction writer, but he said I couldn’t afford him. At the time Tim Vigil was an underground legend, he was illustrating the most offensive comic being produced: Faust. Faust had it all, pornographic sex, more violence than you could believe, and enormous amounts of Satanism and the occult. And what’s weird about it is the story made no sense, but everybody waited for the next issue to see how far Vigil would push things. I caught a real shitty movie on Showtime, about nine years ago based on the Vigil book called Faust: Love of the Damned.
Comic books have always been super easy for me to explain to people. There have always been two major companies producing the books, Marvel and DC. Everyone has their own favorite company, with, about, 20 to 30 different companies popping up and then dying each year.
But the best part of comics is the organization of eras. Books are broken down accordingly:
Golden Age (1938-55)
Silver Age (1956-69)
Bronze Age (1970-83)
Copper Age (1984-1991)
Modern Age (1992-Present)
Now like anything these are not definitive. For example, I had never heard of Copper Age until today, but as time goes on more eras need to be created.
Now I wish these eras applied to punk. MC5, Stooges, New York Dolls would be Pre-Golden Age, Ramones, and the rest of the CBGB crap would be Golden Age, and Pistols, Damned and The Clash would be Silver Age, and Black Flag, TSOL, and Social D would be Bronze Age, etc.
Because I’ve grown tired of reading about bands like the great Blitz being referred to as “the second wave of punk.” The Pistols release their album in ’77, and three or four years later Blitz releases their All Out Attack EP, and it’s called “second wave punk.” Three years, second wave, come on?!
The first five to ten years should be the first wave, and the second ten years, the second wave, and so on.
These descriptions are not descriptions created by the fans/punks. It’s the critics and writers. Everything needs classification, and honestly I wouldn’t have listed MC5, or Ramones as punk. I don’t deny their influence, but punk?! I don’t know.
Anyway, when I create lists or try to define musical eras I always think of the Rob character in the book High Fidelity. I think in terms of my musical history: Top 10 songs enjoyed by everyone in my family, I don’t know if there were ten. Top 10 bands I saw with my Uncle Rick. Top 10 songs I dedicated to the various broads that were lucky enough to hang out with me. Top 10 songs that left a lump in my throat, Kiss & Say Goodbye by The Manhattans came out a couple of weeks after my folks split, it fucked me up for a while.
So, categorize music however it makes sense to you, but one thing guaranteed, someone will disagree.
LAST ONE TO DIE is officially out, order at: https://www.createspace.com/3669330.