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.

Lighthouse – Lighthouse

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Artist: Lighthouse
Genre: Progressive rock, funk, rock, jazz fusion, pop, groove, psychedelic
Title: Lighthouse
Released: 1969
Label:RCA
Format: Vinyl
Musicians: Skip Prokop / vocals, drums, leader, Paul Hoffert / keyboards, vibes
Ralph Cole / guitar, vocals, Grant Fullerton / bass, vocals, Pinky Dauvin / percussion, vocals, Ian Guenther / violin, Don Dinovo / violin, viola, Don Whitton / cello, Leslie Schneider / cello, Freddy Stone / trumpet, flugelhorn, Howard Shore / alto saxophone
Russ Little / trombone, Arnie Chycoski / trumpet, flugelhorn (uncredited)
Producer:Skip Prokop, Paul Hoffert
Arranger: Paul Hoffert, Freddy Stone

Lighthouse was formed in 1968 in Toronto by vocalist/drummer Skip Prokop (formerly of the Paupers) and keyboardist Paul Hoffert. The two met by coincidence on a flight from New York City to Toronto, and discussed forming a band structured around a rock rhythm section, jazz horn section, and classical string section. Prokop had admired Ralph Cole’s playing when they shared the bill at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, so he brought him to Toronto to be the band’s guitarist. Prokop and Hoffert assembled the rest of the group from friends, studio session musicians, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra members, and proceeded to make a demo recording. On the advice of Richie Havens, Prokop and Hoffert took the demo to MGM Records in New York, who signed the band. Two days later they had a manager, Vinnie Fusco, out of Albert Grossman’s office, who overturned the MGM contract and made a deal with RCA Victor. Lighthouse made its debut on May 14, 1969, at the Rock Pile in Toronto.
Their first album, Lighthouse (this one), was released in 1969 by RCA from RCA’s Toronto Eastern Sound Studio Continue reading

Strawbs – Ghost


Artist: Strawbs
Genre: Rock, Progressive Rock
Title: Ghost
Released: 1974
Label: A&M
Format: Vinyl
Musicians:Dave Cousins – lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, recorder, Dave Lambert – lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
John Hawken – piano, electric piano, harpsichord, mellotron, Moog synthesizer, Hammond organ, pipe organ, Chas Cronk – backing vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, Rod Coombes – backing vocals, drums, congas, percussion, Claire Deniz – cello on “Starshine/Angel Wine”
Producer:Tom Allom
Engineer: Tom Allom & Mick Glossop

While this isn’t the first Strawbs LP, it is the first one in my collection I randomly chose to review, so I’ll give some bio history here. Continue reading