Creating a magnetic mix of punkabilly with blues coated rock ‘n’ roll though that just scratches the surface, Drive On Mak is a proposition, certainly with their latest EP, which teases and tempts until you cannot resist taking attention. It is fair to say that initially Babylon pleased without making a major impression but over subsequent listens where its prowess and enterprise seemed to really blossom, the release really captured the imagination.
Texas hailing Drive On Mak is the creation of U.S. Army Vet Sean Makra who in 2011 after eleven years in the forces taking in three tours in Iraq left and began focusing on pursuing his long-time musical dreams. Three years later having linked up with his brother-in-law and drummer Scott Feigh and bassist Jason Bilderback, the beginnings of what was Drive on Mak emerged. Embracing and exploring the experiences and emotions bred by those military years in his songwriting and lyrics, Drive on Mak released the Weapon EP in 2015. Now it is Babylon luring increased attention with its individual, slightly dirty and fully tenacious rock ‘n’ roll.
Babylon opens up with its title track, its initial melodic stroking of ears the tempting lead into the song’s blues kissed reggae lined stroll. Makra’s vocals make a just as alluring invitation, his tones wearing the weight of battles and sights seen without an ounce of weariness, instead coming fuelled by a lively spirit to share and express. The song continues to carry its gentle swing through ears, epitomising the release in its quality to become more potent and compelling listen by listen.
The great start is followed by the similarly boisterous Comin’ For You. Instantly it had a firm hand on attention with the flames of Feigh’s harmonica rich enticement. Its melodic heat echoes the tenacious gait of the surrounding sounds, essences of garage rock and fifties rock ‘n’ roll aligning with blues punk adventure. It is a mix and invention which escalates the strong start of the EP before Kiss Thy Hand brings more of a seventies psych rock air to its lumbering saunter. Though the song does not ignite personal tastes as potently as its predecessors it quickly feeds an appetite already brewed, nagging away with every note and fibre of its creativity to ultimately be just as memorable.
Best track comes in the shape of the cowpunk flavoured Outlaw, a dirt clad slice of punk ‘n’ roll with dust in its climate and instinctive infection in its hooked lined character. With moody rhythms courting the defiance oozing vocals of Makra’s alongside the creative shuffle of his guitar, the track is a contagion on the ear setting up the following relaxed but manipulative swing of Player. It is another which seems to find greater heights over time though tapping feet and eager hips show its no slouch at teasing involvement from the off.
Babylon concludes with When I’m Gone, a country scented proposal with Feigh again just as skilful on harmonica as in springing catchy beats. There is no escaping a slight Rancid spicing to the track either, mostly through the Tim Armstrong textures of Makra’s tones, as it canters along with a lively attitude and infectious agility.
With its songs inspired by Biblical tales and personal observations, in the case of its title track by the Heath Ledger movie A Knight’s Tale too, Babylon has little trouble in awaking interest; it is with time and more plays though that it truly comes alive …a quality only adding to many more reasons to check out Drive On Mak.
Babylon is out now @ https://driveonmak.bandcamp.com/album/babylon
Pete RingMaster 14/11/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright