Reviews Marked Men Ghosts

Marked Men

Ghosts

From time to time certain friends of mine will make the same kind of declarations in the month of February that I do. And when statements like, “This might be the best record of the year,” spew from their overexcited mouth while trying to tell me about a new album, I do indeed take notice. So, when such declarations of amazingness became descriptors for Ghosts, the fourth album from Marked Men, I had an undeniable urge to listen and hear if such gushing praise is deserved. Hailing from Denton, Texas, Marked Men are a four-piece whose story begins in 2002 and winds through several labels, albums, and singles prior to the searing punk rock of Ghosts.

Immediately, Marked Men strike me with the infectious sounds of their vocal melodies and harmonies because the band pulls them off the way early rock and roll did it, injecting another level of nuance into their punk rock, polishing their songs through excellent songwriting rather than through production techniques. As the songs roll through while the album is playing, the simple pop punk songs are amazingly well written and head bobbing-ly infectious, showing the band’s penchant for their own brand of punk. Ghosts is quite simply fifteen great pop punk (not the cheesy variety made to get the band on the radio or videos played) songs that just rule. And while there is not a single stinker on this record, there are quite a few tracks that draw in listeners in just the right way: “All in Your Head,” “Fortune,” “Ghosts,” and more are just simply great songs. “My Love” sounds like the best channeling of the Ramones that I have heard in quite a long time with its breakneck tempo and awesome vocal arrangement, which just like the Ramones shows the band’s penchant for Beach Boys like vocal harmonies. Marked Men sound just as much at home when they slow down the tempo, like on “Get to You” and its subtle vocal “Ah’s” adding just the right touch to the vocal hook. The slow down gives one just enough of a breath to get ready for more of the more up tempo songs.

There really are not enough bands that become pleasant surprises anymore like Marked Men, and Ghosts is a perfect way to experience the group first hand. Their infectious pop oriented punk songs are great and provide the requisite amount of fun that someone would want from such a record. I hereby pronounce Ghosts a great Summer record and required listening for people who like fun (no Captain Fun Killers need apply). In some weird bygone era, this album is spinning on record players at parties where kids dance in “rec” rooms and sip their Coca Colas.

8.5 / 10Bob
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