Mark Dean, Billy Holmes, and Sandy Johnston, collectively known as Dark Mean, appear on record to be neither all that dark, or all that mean. Passionate, yes; Talented musicians, for sure; but lest you start crying about false advertising, I should point out that the songs on their debut, self-titled LP could be described as brooding and fierce, which is as close to dark and mean as they come.
It should also be noted that if you invert the first letters of vocalist Mark Dean’s name, you get Dark Mean. Take from that what you will.
What you’ll take from the music is the happy union of big, brash pop, melodic ambient interludes, and rustic instrumentation. Imagine Tokyo Police Club interbred with Elliott BROOD and you’ll get a sense of what to expect from Dark Mean, an album that band created over a number of years (2007-2011 to be exact). The album was released this past June, and marks the start of what I’m sure is going to be an impressive career. The long gestation period has paid dividends for the trio. They sound skilled, confident and ready to take on the world. The album is available through Bandcamp (for both digital and physical versions) and iTunes (digital only, of course).
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