There’s nothing pretty about Kal Marks’ new record, an album rooted in feelings of failure and a decline of faith in humanity. What it lacks in positive sentiments it makes up for in honesty and a hope for change. The themes of Let The Shit House Burn Down carry beyond the album’s exceptional title and into the music itself; a batch of songs that band weren’t always sold on prior to recording. It was only after the Boston based trio hit the studio that they realized they had created a strong and cohesive set of new music, capturing what could be considered their best performances and their best sounding recording to date. It’s another triumphant collision of sludge, folk, and art punk – deliberately unhinged and primal in a way that has become unique to Kal Marks.
Considered veterans of the Boston DIY scene, Kal Marks has been going for over a decade, constantly pushing themselves and growing along the way. Their tireless work ethic keeps them out on the road, throughout the US and most recently their first tour of Europe and the UK. While many bands settle into a comfortable place, Kal Marks take pride in expanding their sound, contorting and reshaping the formula with every album they’ve released. They’ve challenged their audience over the years and its been met with adoration and critical acclaim from outlets like NPR, Pitchfork, Fader, and Stereogum. Known for being one of the loudest and heaviest “indie rock” bands out there, they’ve shared bills with Big Business, Black Midi, The Messthetics, METZ, True Widow, and more. Their explosive live show is built on feedback and cathartic aggression, an outlet to exorcise the weight of the world around us.
Continuing on from the sonically adventurous Universal Care LP, Kal Marks drew inspiration for their latest from the dark and dusty folk of Nick Cave and Tom Waits to the bludgeoning art metal of Sumac, finding the unique common ground that resides in-between. Heavy and insightful, brilliantly composed, and brutally free, Let The Shit House Burn Down is dense and emotionally crippling. Everyone feels like a failure from time to time, and for Carl Shane, the only way out is to fight your way out, with a set of songs that are both aware of his mental sabotage while clawing towards change. The anxiety comes in both personal detachment and for the world at large as we slink ever deeper toward climate change’s oncoming destruction. It’s a record that surveys all it sees and doesn’t like the results, that sinking feeling of despair and decay. Kal Marks are pushing back against it all however, one colossal riff and one intricate rhythmic stampede at a time.