CD Review: $ (2010)

Band: Mark Sultan
Release: 4/2010
Label: Last Gang Records

1. “Icicles” – B
2. “Don’t Look Back” – B+
3. “Ten of Hearts” – B+
4. “Status” – B
5. “I Get Nothing From My Girl” – B+
6. “Go Berserk” – A
7. “I Am the End” – A-
8. “Misery’s Upon Us” – A
9. “I’ll Be Lovin’ You” – A-
10. “Waiting For Me” – A+
11. “Just to Hold You” – A-
12. “Catastrophe” – A-
13. “Nobody But You” – A

Comments: This is Sultan’s follow-up to his (wonderful) tastefully distorted 2007 garage pop album Sultantic Verses. “Icicles” begins with four minutes of distortion before Sultan’s fuzzy vocals enter, making the song sound more psychedelic and experimental than we are used to. “Don’t Look Back” is heavy on the drums and jangly on the guitar. It sounds like it’s primed for a Western. To give some mnstrmrs a sense of direction, it sounds a little like “Brian Eno” by MGMT. “Ten of Hearts” is the album’s first endeavor into the world of classic oldies. The production on this track is excellent packed with vintage recording techniques and structures like doo-wop harmonies, a light bass, and horns. “Status” was the first track that we got a sneak of back a couple of months ago. My initial thoughts was that it was chaotic and maybe too much so. The ending is a tad unnecessary in one man’s opinion. “I Get Nothing” is another golden gem with strong lyrics, but a rather done before musical tonality. “Go Berserk” is the funnest gem of the first six! Great guitar prowess! Sultan shows off his vocal range on “I Am the End” in a near superciliously fascinating way. Say what? Basically, Mark Sultan is one of the only men in rock and roll that can sing. Sing sing. “Misery’s Upon Us” is up there as well. This version of “I’ll Be Lovin’ You” is a bit more chaotic than the King Khan and BBQ Show version. It’s slightly sped up, for better or for worse. More guitars, more drums, more distortion and plus it features a slow break followed by a doo-wop arrangement to top things off. “Waiting For Me” is another one of my favorites off of this LP. “Catastrophe” is cool. Not the best, but cool. “Nobody But You” is a neat closer. It’s got some very cool effects on both vocals and guitar. Overall, I really like this album. At first, I wasn’t entirely convinced, but I know its got a handful of really listenable gems.

Grade: A- (90)

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