“Jekyll Walks” shows The Mark as an emo band that really lives up to their EP title; the song is construed quite like a sea, in which the music breaks over individuals incessantly, only pulling back with the desire to hit the listener harder with the next wave. This is not necessarily only the emo of bands like Senses Fail, but something that has a larger set of influences than most other similar albums.
For example, “Jekyll Walks” has a heavy Tool element to the track, while the guitar work is something that is more assertive and impressive than the largely staid and tepid work found on emo albums. Punchy, shrill at points, the guitar work on “Jekyll Walks” is enough to really get individuals listening into the band. The band is no one trick pony either, as the Spanish-like acoustic guitars of “Untitled” mixes with Eagles-like bass lines (think “New York Minute” to create an instrumental barrier between “Jekyll Walks” and “Canto 12”. The Mark have a lot of things going for them on “Blackouts of Whitecaps”, as “Canto 12” shows that they can exploit the production of this disc.
While the production is great (only showing its limits at points), the band is able to puff themselves up by pounding so hard on the walls imposed on them. The punk-like attitude of “Canto 12” is the perfect medium in which The Mark can do this, and the song has the effect of bringing more listeners to their side. The band is smart in the sense that they mix slower and quicker songs; this means that slower songs like “Untitled” and “Defect & Descend” are book-ended by the band to not allow the band to fall into a melancholy rut. When there is a trend of slower tracks “Defect & Descend” and “Compass Points”, for example, The Mark starts off the latter with the same intensity of tracks like “Jekyll Walks” and “Canto 12” to allow for differentiation to occur. Tool and System of A Down come back in heavy amounts during the bipolar “Compass Points”, a track that has something for everyone. “Blackouts of Whitecaps” has a distinct and large sound to it, but the band handles the collection of different influences admirably. There are no scars on this Frankenstein’s monster, and I for one would like to hear more from them in the years to come.
Top Track: Compass Points
The Mark – Blackouts of Whitecaps / 2005 Self / 7 Tracks / http://www.themarkmusic.com / email@example.com / Reviewed 23 April 2006