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Beat Mark

Howls of Joy

(Ample Play; US: 19 Feb 2013; UK: 19 Feb 2013)

An outstanding record from a promising new French act.

Beat Mark’s Howls of Joy is rivaling Palma Violet’s outstanding 180 as the most fully-realized and self-assured European debut 2013 has to offer. Throughout its surprisingly brisk 13 track run time, the quartet manages to display an incredible command over various genres and their subsequent integration. Starting out with lo-fi leanings is generally a tough sell but in some cases, the sound a band manages to conjure up absolutely warrants that turn. Beat Mark is one of those bands and they play that fact for all its worth. What’s impressive is just how much they benefit from it. Stripped clean, these songs would be nothing more than catchy but ultimately forgettable powerpop songs. With the layers of analog fuzz applied, they become attention-demanding spectacles with an intimate vice grip. By the end of the record you may be exhausted but it’ll be difficult to restrain from howling with joy.

Rating:

Steven is a writer, musician, and filmmaker from Wisconsin who has spent his fair share of time in the entertainment trenches. He frequently contributes reviews and interviews to Playground Misnomer, which can be accessed here: http://www.playgroundmisnomer.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @unbusyinwi.


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