Tuesday, October 31
I wonder if Brandon Flowers and the Killers were listening to leaked demos from Mark Mallman's latest album, Between the Devil and Middle C, while recording their own latest release. You can't help but notice that some of the same Springsteen-meets-Meatloaf dynamics are on display with the Mallman work (especially on the song "Knockout on 22nd St."). Of course, this man has always had a love and respect for stylish, '70s-era music -- especially as influenced and inspired by glam-rock.
If anything, Mallman's effort here is far more convincing and consistent than the Killers' Sam's Town (of course, maybe that isn't saying all that much). Carefree and catchy from opener to closer, Between the Devil and Middle C keeps things on the light and frothy side, pretension(s) be damned. Then again, the driving rocker "Death Wish" features some vaguely malevolent synthesizer stings (counterbalanced with some bouncy, borderline-cheerful piano). It's a terrific pop song, plain and simple.
As we enter November, bloggers' Top 10 lists for 2006 are fast approaching. I can only hope that Mark Mallman will get a bit of love and attention for his work this year. His songcraft deserves a lot more spotlight, a lot less shadow.
Mark Mallman on MySpace.
Nov 11 11:00P/Mad Planet - Milwaukee/Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nov 24 6:00P/400 Bar - Minneapolis/2 SHOWS AA + 21+/Minneapolis, Minnesota
From the LP Between the Devil and Middle C, 2006 >>>
[MP3] "Death Wish"
From the LP Mr. Serious, 2004 >>>
[MP3] "Hardcore Romantic"
[MP3] "Simply in the Distance"