Paul Mark & The Van Dorens: The Smartest Man In The Room

Album review
Paul Mark & The Van Dorens: The Smartest Man In The Room

Paul Mark & The Van Dorens

The Smartest Man In The Room

Label: Radiation
Media: LP
Genre: Rock/pop
Ratings:



Intense, gravel-voiced, and possessed, blues-rocker Paul Mark has often been compared to a firebrand preacher. On his ninth album he earns that comparison, in spades. Educated, insightful, engaged, and enraged, Mark turns up the heat on smug corporate malfeasance in the album opening title track: stomping and growling, he executes a mercilessly ironic takedown of the one-percenters who got us into this mess, as his blistering backing trio the Van Dorens seconds his fury with a bluesy, relentless, organ- drenched blitzkrieg. He next glides into “Time Will Tell,” a grungy, punishing shuffle that can be read both as a kissoff to a former significant other and a blunt- force commentary on our polarized political environment. In one of several tunes that evoke Biblical imagery, the swirling “Tomorrow Never Knows”-style maelstrom of human cries and crunching rhythm sets up the apocalyptic nightmare of “The Creature Walks Among Us.” Appropriately, the sonics are thick- textured and sizzling—truly gut rattling, especially Mark’s up-front guitar and vocals. Thus the heft of this impressive 180-gram vinyl edition seems an ideal complement to the music’s industrial- strength punch and gravitas.

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Contributors:
  • primary artist, Paul Mark & The Van Dorens

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