Music

Mark Mallman - 'The End Is Not The End' (album stream) (premiere)

For those who declare rock 'n' roll dead, Mallman convinces that rock can still give us something to believe in.

Minneapolis indie rocker Mark Mallman has had a long and fruitful career for the past 20 years, keeping Midwest indie rock alive and thriving. For those who declare rock 'n' roll dead, Mallman convinces that rock can still give us something to believe in. Lead track "Hologram Jesus" makes that point right from the get-go as Mallman pleads that he's desperate to feel something real. In his case it's music and we leave convinced that music can be both a balm and a healing force.

Mallman tells PopMatters that "he was living in my downtown studio at the time, which was located above a strip club, across the street from a strip club, and next to a free way off ramp. This is the area of Minneapolis Diablo Cody writes about in her book Candy Girl. There was also a gang war happening. One night, I had to stop recording because the mic kept picking up the gunshots. The only times I'd leave the house was for new wave/goth night at this nightclub where I used to spin. I guess that's where the David Bowie Scary Monsters influence came from. Then after a series of events, I got torn up by existential crisis. What I learned was, if one drops the existential, the crisis disappears too. In this life, whenever we lose someone, a personal resurrection happens. A part of us dies, but then it grows back stronger. It happens to everybody at some point. Stories and art are there to help sort through the confusion. A person can encase themselves in darkness, and music can show them they are not alone. A certain song can turn your day around, or in some cases, your whole life."

Mallman began work on his new album, The End Is Not The End, back in 2014, but as his story above illustrates, there were some obstacles to overcome before the LP could be completed. Resettling in a new home and taking stock, Mallman took the existing material and rethought it completely, focusing the release on the notion of a rebirth, resiliency, survival, and a new happiness. Mallman wears his heart on his sleeve in his music, rather like John Lennon, and it makes for arresting and visceral music that's impossible to resist.

The End Is Not The End releases March 25th on Polkadot Mayhem.

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