Marc's Music Reviews

Apr. 8, 2014

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Mar. 20, 2014

"His lyrics couldn't be fresher/They said he'd be a superstar/If he could handle the pressure/After they put it to paper/They took him to tea/And told him just a couple of changes/That they wanted to see."
(from "What a Shame")

"What a Shame" is by far the best song on Snapshot, the Strypes debut retro-hootenany effort. 

I saw the band live and loved their show. The energy was electric and the little girls dug the energy of this teenaged 2014-ish version of the Yardbirds. 

I see potential in their craftsmanship as writers. They really need to figure out who they are GOING to be in the future. I am a fan, but I am wary of the early one dimensional nature. This is a tough call for me, because I WANT them to be all that. I want them to be the second coming. The question is...The second coming of what? The Beatles? The Yardbirds? The Stones?

This debut CD is solid. It is rockin' throughout. They cover Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge a Book By Looking At The Cover," which is great, but NOT in the league of the Plimsouls live version from 30 years ago. They cover Nick Lowe's "Heart of the City," a far cry from the live Elvis Costello version I have on a bootleg from 36 years ago.

Their versions are fine, but serve as a reminder to a record nerd like me that there is a lot more to recording or performing songs by your heros than the mere fact that YOU are doing it. 

I think Josh McLorey has a ton of potential as a lead vocalist, but he is NOT in Elvis Costello or Peter Case's league YET. He has a monotonish voice much like Keith Relf, the late Yardbirds singer. McLorey doesn't have a distinct voice just yet.

These kids have all the musical chops in the world. It is no mistake that Paul Weller and Jeff Beck, and their manager Elton John (his company) are mentors and followers of the band. The live show alone is enough to generate excitement.

This CD does NOT generate that type of excitement for me after several listenings.

I love "What a Shame," the one song with an interesting point of view. The McLorey-penned tale of a record company sucking the life out of a young rocker is totallly worth downloading. 

I want to see that much writing depth throughout the next CD they deliver. The live show already delivers.

I am obviously being a tad hard on the lads.

Check out these two videos, before deciding on the entire CD.:

You Can't Judge a Book By Looking at the Cover (video)

What a Shame (video)


Nov. 7, 2013

English Translation of Oscar Garcia's Review from Spain:

Kick Out The Jams
Marc Platt – Brand New Day (Platt Attack Records)
Perhaps readers of this blog the name of this musician is totally unknown to them as happened to me a few months ago. Giving a clue say that Marc was the main songwriter of the Real Impossibles , band that have realized in this space. "Brand New Day" is the title of his new album, tranquil cutting ten songs instrumentally speaking and letters addressed to the conscience . An album that opens precisely with the title track "Brand New Day." : Arpeggiated guitars, mandolins vibrant give way to a kind of tribute to always longed "Nick Drake," a musician who Marc feels special devotion to. The musical simplicity of "The Old Man" resorts to the roots of American music to make an issue where a harmonica , a guitar and voices are enough to enjoy a song. "No Damn Justice" is based on the murder of Trayvon Martin, the young black man killed in Sanford ( Florida ) in 2012, "The Best in America" was written by Marc after the recent attacks of Boston and makes clear that before what are the people that prevails in a theme that exudes patriotism . " Last Train Ride to Glory" is an older song that was first recorded and released in 1989 as Marc solo single after the dissolution of the Real Impossibles for Atomic Giraffe Records. One of the topics I touch the fiber from the first chords that sound is "The Greatest Price" with a violin that is pure feeling, and sung brilliantly with Matt Kabus co-producer on this album, which is based at the crossroads of barbarians interest has moved mankind for centuries and which we call "war." With the same theme blasts "This Way to War " where the musician again under the influence of Mr Drake has engineered as the war in Iraq on a lie of his government, this theme with "Nine Long Years" could have been included in any of the last records of Elliott Murphy. Since we are closing with "Hard," one of the songs that I like this album and reflects a part of the current reality when the verse begins with " Lost my job, lost my home, will work for food, on my own ..... " . 10 Songs that are far from the nerve in his old band but that move in unison with the times . (Oscarkotj - 2013)

Oct. 24, 2013

Brand New Day: “In a world of increasing inconsequence and inanity, here 
comes Marc Platt reminding us why music matters so much. Now more than 
ever we hunger for the kind of music he makes: songs with melodies as 
luminous and lingering as his lyrics are incisive and inspirational; songs of 
grace & outrage, turbulence & redemption. He’s a true tunesmith, a man who 
knows how to craft a melody with spark and flair, inventing tunes to touch 
the heart and lift the spirit, and always matched to words that go against the 
grain of these tangential times to speak with a beautiful clarity about being 
human in modern times. The man has been great for many years, and –
remarkably – is growing ever greater.”

Paul Zollo: Senior Editor, American Songwriter Magazine (October, 2013)

Over the course of 35 years as both a solo performer and as frontman for 1980s power/pop band the Real Impossibles, Marc Platt has seen and done it all. Latest effort “Brand New Day” finds the talented singer/songwriter dabbling in contemporary folk as he tackles subject matter like patriotism, ageism, the American prison system and treatment of war veterans. Though topical, Platt is never too preachy and he scores with “Nick Drake,” “No Damn Justice,” “Best in America,” “Nine Long Years” and “This Way to War.” Good stuff.
Jeffrey Sisk - Pittsburgh Tribune (Oct 22, 2013)


Oct. 10, 2013
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Genre: Folk
Label: Dream Wild
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1. Brand New Day
2. Nick Drake
3. The Old Man
4. No Damn Justice
5. Best in America
6. Last Train Ride to Glory
7. Nine Long Years
8. Greatest Price
9. This Way to War
10. Hard
Brand New Day

Marc Platt is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. He is a strong musician and a music aficionado. This shows in his songwriting as well as his previous releases, which have shown his ability to write songs in multiple genres. His latest release is Brand New Day, a ten song folk album.

The album opens with the title track, “Brand New Day.” It has a fairly lengthy intro, long enough to make you wonder if it’s an instrumental track, before Platt’s vocals begin. The first artist I am reminded of when hearing this track was Cat Stevens. Another artist that has clearly been an influence is obvious when you see track two, “Nick Drake.” As the album progresses it become apparent that Platt appreciates musicians like Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen as well.

Often times, acoustic folk tunes can get boring fast over the length of an album. A songwriter’s style and vocals tend to vary only so much and song after song starts to wear on you. This is not the case on Brand New Day. Platt shows that he is not only a gifted musician, but he is capable of writing well-crafted songs that span and bend the genre to keep his album refreshing from track to track. Not only are these melodies filled with some splendid guitar playing, but the additions of harmonica, fiddles, mandolins, and harmonies add enjoyable dimensions to the tunes.

What I enjoyed most about Brand New Day were the tracks that had more of a country influence to them. I preferred the songs that had more of a Springsteen/Young vibe like “The Old Man” and “Nine Long Years” to the ones like “Brand New Day” and “Best in America.” They worked better with the stories that Platt was looking to tell here and in a classic way. While Platt doesn’t have the iconic vocals that some of the aforementioned artists do, his vocals are good and nicely evoke the emotions he is looking for. In the end, all things came together best on “Greatest Price” where Platt is joined by Matt Kabus, displaying many of the strengths that make Brand New Day an enjoyable listen all in one excellent song.


Key Tracks: The Old Man, Nine Long Years, Greatest Price

Kevin Kozel - Sr. Staff

September 24, 2013


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