Beat Mark – Howls Of Joy (Ample Play)
By Scott Creney
Check out this song by Beat Mark called ‘Cool Fur’. Sound familiar?
You have to admire a band that outright steals the chorus from The Vaselines’ ‘Son Of A Gun’ — it’s the kind of brazen opportunism that people admire Noel Gallagher for, and I’m sure in 20 years NME will be presenting a Godlike Genius Award to the good people in Beat Mark.
They’re from France, apparently. Beat Mark has all the standard indiepop accoutrement — their one refinement is putting the main singer’s Stephen Pastel vocals in a big tin oil drum, which would sound even cooler if Crystal Stilts hadn’t already thought of it.
Music this unoriginal, this pre-planned and deliberate, is going to live and die on the strength of its hooks. Luckily for Beat Mark they have a few more than most of their fellow necrophiliacs.
It kind of loses a bit of focus/momentum after the second chorus, but that verse is to die for. Although that may have been stolen from some place too — it’s hard to tell what’s original and what isn’t anymore. Ultimately, I don’t give a shit. Just don’t want to give Beat Mark any more credit than they deserve.
There’s a few other decent moments. ‘Odd Machine’ has got a bit more musical drama than most of the stuff on here, but the singer’s boasts of “I gotta do it”, and “The fact is some people have guts, and some people haven’t”, followed by “Don’t try to stop me now” all ring a bit hollow. Picking out the right pair of jeans to complement your record collection isn’t exactly an act of courage. But then Beat Mark’s the kind of band who sing about losing control, even as the music shows no signs of this ever happening.
Here’s an official video. It’s better than Veronica Falls, I guess.