The Marked Men - Ghosts (Cover Artwork)

The Marked Men

The Marked Men: GhostsGhosts (2009)
Dirtnap Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

If this really is the proverbial end of the road for the Marked Men (pertaining to proper full-lengths, anyway), their new LP Ghosts is one hell of a swan song. Fifteen songs in 30 minutes. Gritty and self-produced. Ghosts is just what you've likely come to expect from the band and is a natural prog.
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If this really is the proverbial end of the road for the Marked Men (pertaining to proper full-lengths, anyway), their new LP Ghosts is one hell of a swan song. Fifteen songs in 30 minutes. Gritty and self-produced. Ghosts is just what you've likely come to expect from the band and is a natural progression of their sound.

What kills me most about the Marked Men is how deceptively original their songs are. Most listeners might classify them as simple pop-punk, but there's so much going on underneath the surface of these songs that once all the intricacies hit your ears, it might cause you to wonder aloud if anyone else who's not in the band notices them. Sure, anyone can listen to the Marked Men, but to hear them is a completely different experience. A few good examples of this would be the subtle dual guitar play in "Ditch," the infectious vocal harmonies in the chorus of "One More Time" or the ridiculous chord progressions in "Stay Away."

That's not to say that these songs don't just kick the listener in the balls, either. "Fortune" is easily the busiest song on this record, a barrage of crashing drums and rapidly strumming guitars, with a neat melodic bridge thrown in as well as some "ahh"s in the background, all underneath an extra thick layer of distortion.

There's hooks a-plenty in songs like "Red Light Rumors" and "My Love," and the guitar work in nearly all of these songs is impressive, showing that yes, there are new and exciting things that can be done with only a handful of chords in one's arsenal.

Notoriously and self-admittedly meticulous about their recording process (the band records all of their material themselves in a converted shed in their hometown of Denton, Texas). the production on Ghosts is expectedly top-notch. The reel-to-reel method the band employs gives their songs a warm, classic feel; you anticipate hearing the sound of vinyl scratching even though you're listening to the CD or digital version. The production also gives a lot of these songs warm, organic tones that enhance the instruments in ways that a proper studio session would be unable to replicate. Songs like the quicker "I Must Be Dead" and the more deliberate, mid-tempo "Get to You," among others, just sound...cozy.

There's no one song here that possesses the sheer immediacy of some of the band's earlier work -- contemporary classics from the band's past like "On the Outside," "Doctor Dan" or "Fix My Brain" -- but as a whole, Ghosts is the Marked Men's best effort to date, and hopefully not the last.



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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Brandon_Campbell (August 18, 2010)

This reviewer did a great job listening to this record. The review from AP stated that until the third or fourth listen, you do not really hear the album as I am assuming the PunkNews staff has. The beauty of this album is, as both of these reviews suggest, is how deceptively these hooks will ensnare you.

On my first listen I thought the album was good, but not Fix My Brain good. Ghosts changed my mind slowly. But it changed my mind.

Ghosts is the the Marked Men's finest album.

Give it a second, third and fourth shot.

You won't regret it.

dirtydacoitdan (February 21, 2009)

Love it. The last track totally rocks balls!!!

ffwoodycock (February 21, 2009)

One of the records i was most looking forward to this year, and it paid off.

nocigar (February 21, 2009)

wow branden, sorry John Reis wasn't on here

branden (February 20, 2009)

couldn't get into fix my brain. don't really care about listening to this.

holy_hack_ben (February 20, 2009)

I like this album a lot but I think that Fix My Brain was better. All the songs on this, while consistently good, all end up sounding the same. A bit of diversity would have served them well on this.

mikexdude (February 20, 2009)

Carolyn likes it.

inagreendase (February 20, 2009)

Pretty dec. Certainly not going apeshit for it like the rest of this thread is about to.

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