Remark – they are an alternative rock band from Moscow, Russia

Remark is an alternative rock band from Moscow, Russia. They are a 5 piece band with Yanas on vocals, Den on lead guitar, Ivan on bass Den Darky on rhythm guitar and Timi on drums.

Coming from Moscow, the alternative rock five-piece Remark has launched the first of in-studio performance videos for the song “Purple Haze,” which is a part of their recently launched EP Keep Running. The video is streaming via group’s YouTube channel; watch it here.

The four-track EP, called “Keep Running” is comprised of two author songs and two covers, including the group’s renditions of “Shout,” originally performed by Tears for Fears, and “Too Close” by Alex Clare.

Speaking about their vision that propelled the EP, guitarist Denis Novikov commented: “We tried to make something new, but also we understood that it must be within our genre. To be honest, we think that the musical industry is in stagnation and it has provoked us to create our personal sound which includes the classic rock elements and ideas. I will say, ‘Keep Running’ sounds like I want. I hear the echoes of my musical tastes in it, and I think the rest of the band will agree with me.”

The main idea behind the artwork, which was designed by Denis Rekun, is “moving on and searching yourself in music and life.”

About the two covers on the EP, Novikov says: “Songs ‘Too Close’ and ‘Shout’ are well known, so we decided to arrange them by our vision and sound. I hope that our covers will receive some feedbacks from listeners!”

Remark’s overall sound is close to bands like Soundgarden. Another thing I noticed is that they are Remarkably tight. (See what I did there)? Pun aside though, it is true.

The first song on this EP, titled “Comeback” is interesting in that it sounds like it ends in a bridge with time changes in the last minute and a half. It also happens to be my favorite song on the EP.

The second song is titled “Purple Haze” and if you think it is a cover of the Jimi Hendrix tune, you would be mistaken. This is a song the band wrote themselves and just happened to call it “Purple Haze”. Whether the Hendrix tune had any influence in that, I don’t know, but it also doesn’t matter. To me this song sounds like an extra hard sounding Segment. (Segment is a Czech/Russian alternative rock band I saw on a talent show and they are now pretty successful too. I need to get their stuff in for review). The bass line on this tune is strong, but not overpowering in the mix.

The third song is one of two covers mentioned above, “Shout” by Tears For Fears. This could be called the analog version as there are no electronics save some effects unlike the original, which is all electronics, synth and computer. The song here starts out slow and then goes to hard rock for the last minute and a half. In my opinion, while interesting, this song just doesn’t translate well here.

The last song is the second cover, which is “Too Close” by Alex Clare. I compared the original with this cover and I actually like this cover a bit better. The sound the band gives it seems to fit more snuggly. That said though, I feel they should not have used the distortion effect on the vocals. It would have been better and more impactful without that.

In summary, if you like bands like Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, etc. you will find Remark very familiar. In my opinion, while they don’t stand out in the US market as anything unique (other than being from Russia, which is a good thing folks, let’s show some love), I think they could get some airplay on US radio if marketed well towards that goal.

Arguments over acronyms

It seems to me that the audio world/hobby/call it what you want goes through a seemingly endless hallway of arguments over acronyms. It’s like a hotel hallway with an argument behind every door in every room. If it is isn’t PCM, its DSD, if it isn’t DSD, its MQA, DTS, SOFET, …………… It was enough with CD, LP, SACD, DVD. Even other acronyms are added all the time and then there is cute stuff like WAF. Even music titles and artists are now acronyms such as DSOTM (Dark Side Of The Moon) and PF (Pink Floyd).
It’s enough to make you want to say you can’t give an IOU to UPS for a COD or they might call the FBI..ha ha ha.

All kidding aside, it seems to me that this is not limited to the audio hobby, but part of everything now, business, everyday language, etc. It is as if while non-native English speakers dedicate themselves to learning the English language, native English speakers have all but given up on their own language. With everyone talking in acronyms, it is no wonder nobody understands each other.
The point here is that partly because of lack of understanding each other with all this tossing around of acronyms, there are more arguments. Not necessarily from the acronyms in and of themselves, but the way they are used as subjects. For example: There was a period of time not too long ago when there was endless arguing about PCM vs DSD and even DSD itself. That has not gone away but has dimmed a bit, but it will be back I’m sure. Not long ago the MQA arguments started and are still going. The arguments are not based on the acronyms themselves but based on a lack of understanding what they are and a refusal to look at the evidence at hand. In other words, a refusal to self-educate and believe and put faith in hyperbole over facts. (Personally, I have no dog in the fight and could care less about MQA, DSD, Etc. What concerns me is communication and intellect).

It seems to me that all this arguing over acronyms and gear and what have you is not only a result of a breakdown in communication in general, but seems to be by design as well resulting in a complete disconnect from music and the purpose of it and the gear on which it is played. All the time and energy spent on arguing over acronyms, formats, gear, etc. is time and energy taken away from the whole purpose of listening to music and benefiting from that. Music is communication and language. Those whom spend more time arguing over acronyms, gear and the like obviously have no respect for music and are not interested in letting music speak or benefiting themselves and letting others benefit from music. In my opinion, this is about as shameful as you can get.

So I encourage you to ignore all those whom engage in such fighting. I don’t care who they work for or with or who everyone thinks they are, if they are engaging or feeding such arguments, fights or trying to divide people, ignoring music then what is the point in listening to them if they are only going to be killjoys. Music is the all important point and end game, don’t lose sight of that.

A hidden Audiophile litmus test?

Lately, I have noticed the “audiophile litmus test” has been coming back lately. Of course, there is no official test, but more and more reviewers and other folks with audio blogs and you tube channels have been dividing folks between audiophile and non-audiophile and even assigning grades of audiophile in an “us vs them” tonality. None of this does anyone any good and is only divisive (a tool to sow division). My reaction to this is, don’t we already have enough division regarding everything being sown since #45 took office? Do we really need this in the audio and music world? I have even addressed some of these individuals to try to get them to think about what they are saying, but as expected it falls on deaf ears or just causes more problems because they are elitist and think they are right to posit an “us vs them” mentality as they divide people instead of encouraging people to listen to music. It’s like they are saying “you must join the club and drink the koolaid or you will not be allowed to listen to music now and that music is leaving the world and you will not get to keep it unless you are a member in which you will be spared from the coming apocalypse”. It even gets to the point that these dark-side beings also try to tell people what to listen to and what not to listen to in music. I find this attitude to be ludicrous at very best and severely damaging on many levels at worst. The scary thing in addition to that is that some of these types appear to be angels of light, but are really mean-spirited with an agenda in disguise, (like a sociopath who appears to have your best interest at heart but is really in it totally for themselves leaving you drained dry at the end). Continue reading