Garage Punks Peak of 2018
“By way of Denton, Texas” isn’t the most common expression one would think they would hear when referencing punk bands, but Dallas and the surrounding areas have established a solidified punk scene, with The Marked Men as part of their coalition. Although it has been almost 10 years since their last full-length album, The Marked Men have not been away from music. All the members have other bands such as The Novice and Radioactivity.
This reunion is in the form of 16 track, 32-minute full length On The Other Side off of Dirtnap Records. The album begins with “She Won’t Know,” and it is a very classic garage punk sounding song. The lo-fi distortion in vocals is a great effect complimenting the track. It almost sounds like a White Reaper song without the howling and guitar solos, yet this makes it better in some way. It’s a song that’s own power is in its simplicity. “Nothing’s Changed” follows “She Won’t Know” perfectly as the bass line by Joe Ayoub does not stop from start to finish. The consistent speed is impressive, but the variation of notes and tones contrasting bass and rhythm make this track tickle any listener’s fancy.
“Too Pretty to Fuck” speeds up the album to a faster, punk pace. It’s a silly song in the lyrics, but its humor compliments the entire vibe of On The Other Side. This humor continues on the next track “Whip Myself” which in the title seems pretty self-explanatory.
“Wait Here, Wait For You” is one of the most charming tracks on the album. In terms of Americana rock and early pop punk, it really shadows that Replacements vibe of fun rock that the world’s rock atmosphere severely needs at this time. This track does feel like the album’s peak though as after this we get tracks like “That Kid” and “I Can’t Be Good” where The Marked Men’s vocalists get a little tiresome during the course of On The Other Side. If there is a complaint to be made from this album, it is that the tracks lack some differentiation and variation. Although the songs are without question catchy.
This album doesn’t break too many barriers, but in terms of garage rock, it doesn’t get much better than On The Other Side. The songs are simple, but this only helps the record. The hooks are infectious to a tee, and this is one of the catchier albums this year within this genre. If punk fans haven’t listened to The Marked Men yet, this album is a wonderful place to start.