Beat Mark – [Album]

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Remember back in the mid-Nineties when bands like Blur, Oasis and Stone Roses took all the campy, poppy sounds of the British Invasion, added some fresh, MDM-flavored urgency and sparked a new, intrinsically ironic Brit-Pop explosion? It was great right? The members of Beat Mark remember the magic of that moment fondly too and have endeavored to recreate it on Howls Of Joy; except they've (wisely) elected to skip the smarmy sense of irony that Blur and Oasis just couldn't resist. In fact, the only ironic thing about this band and this record is that they're rocking like Brit-Pop revivalists – but they're French.

From the moment “What I Want The Most” opens Howls Of Joy, Beat Mark hands listeners everything they need to know about the band and about this record all at once. There, singer/keyboardist Julien Perez lays down an impeccable vocal melody that no one who knew and loved The Vaselines' take on pop will b able to turn away from, set against a perfectly kitschy and twee instrumental backdrop that is perfectly undeniable. Guitarist Gaetan Didelot installs a timeless and solid rock rhythm guitar part to support those vocals and the band is off to the races; it is worth noting that Didelot's guitar part would probably sound impeccably thin (there is no bass) if listeners' heads weren't already bobbing jubilantly, but by the time they realize that, the song is already ending anyway (there is no solo, bridge or break) and the next perfectly adorable piece of twee pop (“Breezing!”) has started its build to the exact same kind of euphoria as its predecessor and keeps spirits up. It doesn't seem like it should work so easily, but it does; that Beat Mark is able to pull the exact same compositional trick like that will be irrelevant to listeners, because it just sounds so damned good.

And the band just keeps at the same tricks and watches them work brilliantly too! Throughout the duration of Howls Of Joy, Beat Mark keeps striking indie pop gold with ease as songs including “Son Thomas Hunter,” “Purple Glow,” “People Of Your Kind,” “Love At First Sight” and “Am I Five” (to mention only the songs which happen to be this writer's favorites) all knock through and knock anyone listening over. In each case, Didelot's guitars lock with sublime ease into Chloe Labaye's perfectly simplistic beats ( they're 'simple' as one might regard Ringo Starr's playing with The Beatles) and the gang vocals which eventually appear in the running of each song help to bolster the pop vibes and keep listeners from being able to forget a single, solitary one. There's nothing complicated  about it, these thirteen songs just ride a wave of blissful, low-fi, indie pop simplicity which is just unforgettable and never gets old on repeated listens.

How did Beat Mark do it? How did this band manage to compose a work of such unparallelled craft? There's no way to say, and it doesn't matter; all that really matters is the fact that Howls Of Joy is the definition of pop genius. This is an album that everyone needs to hear and, if there's any justice in the world, they soon will.


Beat Mark –
"Breezing!" – Howls Of Joy – [mp3]


Howls Of Joy
will be released on February 19, 2013 by Ample Play Records. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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