Obviously Mark Lind is the lead singer of The Ducky Boys, so at some point the two acts will have some general sound in common. Little did I know how common the sounds would be between “Death and Jail” and The Ducky Boys’ last album “The War Back Home”. “No Future’ is the first big hit of the disc, which is built on the guitars that made Face to Face big; the narrative quality of Lind here is something that is fostered and allowed to shine fully.
The only thing that seems to hold Lind back here is that the tracks all operate in the same general field. The tracks may be able to be distinguished from each other, but there is little in the way of experimentation on “Death or Jail”. It is a good thing when a general sound is cultivated over the course of an album, but this can quickly become sour and be a straitjacket that limits the range of movement an artist can have. When the disc starts getting interesting for the listener has to be during the synthesizer-heavy opening to “The Lonely People”. Essentially, the style that dominates is similar to the rest of the songs on “Death or Jail”, but the guitars present on other tracks are replaced by the synthesizer at this juncture. The faster tempo that “Too Much” starts out with, coupled with the guitar line that is at least as distinctive as something that ELO or Fleetwood Mac would cut means hat listeners will not be disappointed; this more pointed track is strategically placed in the middle of the disc, to reinvigorate listeners and ensure that they can stick with the disc and make it to the end of the album without problems.
“Too Much” is the shining star of the disc, something that is qualitatively different from the rest of The Ducky Boys’ music and is yet a track that showcases the unique vocal skills of Mark Lind perfectly. Hands-off production allows Lind to shine in eir own right; while there might be something said to maybe increasing the overall loudness of the tracks on this disc, the quiet sound of a number of these tracks shows a move away from the overly-loud CDs that are dominant in all genres of music. A solo album that still refers back to the band that Lind fronts as well as coming up with some new styles of tracks, “Death or Jail” is a more than adequate solo album.
Top Tracks: Too Much, Better Days
Mark Lind – Death or Jail / 2006 Thorp / 11 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/marklind / http://www.thorprecords.com / Reviewed 07 July 2006