Archive for December 11, 2009

The Makers – Strangest Parade

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Sub Pop Records, 2002

So who are these Makers and why do they look like I should already know them on the cover of their record?  They’ve all got that kind of greasy, careless long hair look that makes them appears as if they couldn’t be bothered.  The second guy from the left pulls a Paul Stanley impression and the guy to his left looks like he wants to murder me in an alleyway.  Hey, despite the ill feelings towards this music buying stranger, I picked up the disc because these guys exude a magnificent amount of confidence based on how they are lounging in shades in an inside cover picture.  I couldn’t be left out of this cool crowd.

Indeed, the Makers certainly put on an air in their music.  Michael Maker sings with a dramatic air throughout each song and, from what I can tell, doesn’t sound too happy about much.  That sentiment doesn’t mean that the music is tedious, though, thanks to the great rock n’ roll musicianship that supports him.  One of the best songs on this disc, and certainly one that I like to admit to myself from time to time, is “Hard to Be Human”.  Sometimes it is hard to be human, especially when I whack my knee on a table or lock myself out of my apartment.  That’s certainly when it sucks to be human, but the way Maker sings this song with conviction, it does sound he is having a hard time.  There there, Michael, dab those eyes with your clumped locks of hair.

Maker’s wails on “Calling Elvis, John and Jesus” rival those of David Bowie’s at his most pained, especially when he repeatedly asks “Can you heeeeear meeeee?”  Yeah dude, over and over again.  It’d have been more interesting if he was singing about some sort of space being waiting in the sky but that’s already been done wonderfully, so instead Maker loudly sighs about believing rock is dead and how futile things are without Elvis.  But the song sounds great!  Only a few songs in and I’m already grinning due to some of the ludicrousness of the lyrics, but I’m having a glam rockin’ time of it.

Despite the small bits of comedy, the Makers really do have an engaging rock record that has a lot of attitude.  Sure, much of it is posturing and over-sensation, but they certainly enjoy turning it up on other tracks like “Laughter Then Violence” and “Addicted to Dying”.  The Makers also spend a good deal of time getting sensitive with the listener during a few emotional moments sung by Maker, including a reference to a rainbow in “Dear Father, I Think I’m Falling”.  I think my dad would tell me to go sit on a rainbow if I sung that sappily but hey, we all know what this song stretch is all about, right?  The chicks.

It is certainly not a fantastic record of great success to the glam or hard rock genre, but I can appreciate the rock star image that the Makers have slicked together with leather and grimace.  You can’t always expect rock stars to be gritty and of the Springsteen ilk, so the variety of approach by the Makers certainly make things more interesting than twelve of the same songs.  And sure, it’s true that Maker does whine a little bit when he sings, but if you think of it Mick Jagger delivers his voice very similarly during certain songs from the seventies and eighties.  So, despite what appears to be a bit of a hiatus of the band, I think it’d be great if these guys burst back onto the music scene as if they owned it with another record.  C’mon guys, do you hear me on this one?  Do you heeeeear meeeee?!

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