Cain Marko

At Sea EP

Written by: PP on 20/06/2011 21:57:03

There's gotta be a couple of hundred bands like Cain Marko by now, who are re-interpreting the memorable gravelly vocals and quirky guitars of early releases from the likes of Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike. Just from the top of my head I can name Campaign, The Great Explainer, and Daylight, and that's without performing a "hot water music" search query into our review database. But who can blame them? "At Sea" EP, like many others before it, is a record full of warmth and nostalgia, characterized by its vibrant and rough guitars and the strained, edgy vocals, resulting in a tag like "gravelly vocaled pop punk" as the promo sheet so nicely puts it.

First track "At Sea In St. Paul" is an excellent example of how effortless it is to write a great track in this genre. All it takes is a solid vocalist with a semi-harsh voice, and a few repeated lyrics like the twice repeated "another song about drinkiiiiiing" to get the record going. It's catchy and enjoyable, so you can easily disregard that it is blatantly unoriginal. The guitars swirl and twist, going through the usual early post-hardcore / punk hybrid thing, but they provide a technical backdrop against which the singer can spread his honesty-wielded vocals nicely. Occasionally the band inserts a light, melodic gang shout to emphasise one section on the record, which works nicely enough.

With all things in order, "At Sea" EP is yet another release in a sea (*cough*) of records that sound precisely like it. They all sound good, because it's so easy to like this style (why do you think HWM are so universally loved and acclaimed?), but yet one is beginning to ask the question if the second coming of this genre is starting to reach the point of saturation. Cain Marko's four track release doesn't yet feel like so, but it's a precursor for things to come in the future, if the bands doing this style can't find a way to make every song sound as good as "At Sea In St. Paul".


Download: At Sea In St. Paul
For the fans of: Campaign, Jawbreaker, The Great Explainer
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 15.03.2011

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