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.https://youtu.be/nZp6MLM1by0

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.

Simple Minds – New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)


Artist: Simple Minds

Genre: Alternative Rock, Avant-garde, Experimental
Title: New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
Released:1982
Label: A&M Records
Format: Vinyl
Musicians: Jim Kerr – lead vocals, Charlie Burchill – guitars and effects
Michael MacNeil – keyboards and effects, Derek Forbes – bass guitar
Additional musicians:Mel Gaynor – drums, Mike Ogletree – percussion, Kenny Hyslop – drums, Sharon Campbell – girl’s voice, Herbie Hancock – guest keyboardist
Producer: Peter Walsh
Engineer: Peter Walsh

New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84) is the fifth studio album by Scottish rock band Simple Minds. The album was released in September 1982 by record label Virgin, and was a turning point for the band as they gained critical and commercial success in the UK and Europe. This version I have is on A&M records as that was the US release label. In the US, A&M issued some limited edition translucent gold with maroon colored marble vinyl pressings of the album. Sadly, I am not lucky enough to have one of those. Continue reading

Morrissey – Kill Uncle


Artist: Morrissey

Genre: Rock
Title: Kill Uncle
Released: 1991
Label: Sire
Format: CD
Musicians: Morrissey – vocals, Mark E. Nevin – guitar, Mark Bedford – bass guitar
Andrew Paresi – percussion, drums, Seamus Beaghen – keyboards, Steven Heart – keyboards, Nawazish Ali Khan – violin, John Deacon – bass guitar (tracks 2, 4 and 8)
Linder Sterling – background vocals
Producer: Alan Winstanley and Clive Langer

Kill Uncle is the second solo studio album by English singer Morrissey. It is generally considered Morrissey’s most unconventional album, probably due to its mature torch song (“There Is a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends”) aspects combined with quirky music and lyrics that range from ironic and tongue-in-cheek to some of his more introspective.

Kill Uncle was recorded when Morrissey was in a transitional phase. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_Uncle

1. “Our Frank” – On “Our Frank”, Morrissey’s lyrics describe “frank and open, deep conversations” that get him nowhere and leave him disheartened.The song features some uncharacteristic production for the singer, with Morrissey’s voice being overdubbed and echoed. The bass line is also interesting.
2. “Asian Rut” – I find this track as one of the worst on the CD. The music itself is disturbing, but it must be pointed out that it was supposed to be. I first thought that it was a quasi racist song, but I found out that while the song does indeed deal with racism, it is actually against racism. It turns out “Asian Rut” is a tale about the murder of an Asian by three English boys in which Morrissey’s vocals are backed only by strings and bass, plus sound effects, lending an eerie quality to the somber narrative. The song continues the tradition of Morrissey examining English racism from a unique angle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_Uncle
3. “Sing Your Life” – This is one of the better songs on the CD with a subtle rockabilly flavor. The strings from the first two tracks are present in the song as well, and they rise and fall in a fashion similar to “Our Frank”. The song has Morrissey instructing the listener on how to make a song, as he sings, “Walk right up to the microphone and name all the things you love, all the things you loathe.” Ironically enough, a rockabilly version of the song also exists, recorded live at KROQ in Los Angeles.
4. “Mute Witness” – “Mute Witness”, the fourth track, features piano backing composed by Clive Langer. The song is a somewhat farcical tale of an attempt to get information out of a witness who cannot speak at a trial.
5. “King Leer” – The upright acoustic  bass carries this song, which is kind of a silly song with its use of puns.
6. “Found Found Found” Langer – “Found Found Found”, another Langer track, is the only heavy song on the album. I’m all about heavier songs, but this one is not all that good in my opinion especially when you add over-compressed dirty bass.
7. “Driving Your Girlfriend Home” – In this ballad, Morrissey tells of how he’s driving the girlfriend of one of his friend’s home. He reveals that she asks him, “‘How did I end up so deeply involved in the very existence I planned on avoiding?'” and that “She’s laughing to stop herself crying.” These outpourings are interspersed with driving instructions, and Morrissey tells us, “I can’t tell her” what he feels about her and that the ride concludes with them “shaking hands goodnight so politely.” In a surprise twist of fate, I can realistically relate to this song. Too bad the music is somewhat annoying and strange in my opinion.
8. “The Harsh Truth of the Camera Eye” – This often cited as Morrissey’s most misunderstood song ever recorded. I find this song to sound like a track to a horror film about evil clowns (clowns are evil anyway). It turns out that the lyrics are describing the “pain because of the strain of smiling” and the dichotomy between one’s public image and private personality. The music consists of a carnival-like synthesizer and features sound effects like that of a door slamming and a camera lens snapping, along with piano accompaniment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_Uncle
9. “(I’m) The End of the Family Line” – This song sounds like the same structure as the previous one and just as depressing. The singer rues that he will never have children, an insult into the “fifteen generations … of mine” that produced him.
10. “There’s a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends” – This is just a terrible sounding song in my opinion.
11. “Tony the Pony” – This song is only on the US version of the album. While it is more upbeat, it is equally stupid.

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