Mak – Mak – Album Review

L-A be Let Artists Be

by Tina Dealwis

Montreal band Mak’s self-titled debut album is an eclectic mix of sounds and influences, uniquely blended together. In this release, Mak demonstrates its wide range of musical interests. Mak, whose current lineup was established in 2009, consists of Jesse MacCormack on vocals, guitar, and keyboards, Gabriel Drolet on bass, Simon Labbé on guitar, Samuel Béland on keyboards, percussion, and programming, and Maxime Reed Vermette on drums.

The album is nine songs of haunting vocals over intricate instrumentation spanning rock, jazz, and hip hop genres. You can hear traces of Radiohead, Coldplay, and TV on the Radio influences in the songs, among others. “If She’s Got A Habit, is an easy-going, mellow opening track. It is followed by “Cause to Effect”, which features the electric guitar, and has a melodic rock vibe. The album then slows down for the next three songs—“Stone,” which starts off slow, then picks up speed in the middle, before slowing down again, “Reverse,” and “Young Lads.” The next song, “Stab Me,” is funky with a danceable beat that sounds like it may have been influenced by Prince, followed by “Bulletproof Love,” an acoustic melody that builds to a deeper sound. The acoustic sound continues for the next song “TV,” and the album ends with the slow, mellow groove of “Them.”

Mak’s debut release is highly enjoyable. Its mellow sound, with some surprising sounds and effects, is the type of album you would listen to while relaxing at home over a glass of wine. It is musically interesting and pleasing to listen to, and should appeal to a wide audience.