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"There are few bands that I defend and promote as heavily as The Marked Men. If there were ever unsung heroes of the punk genre, I can’t think of a better candidate. If you’re reading this column you’re likely familiar with them. If not, here’s the skinny: in 2001 the Reds broke up because their bassist, Chris Pulliam, moved to Japan. The remaining members of The Reds—Jeff Burke, Mark Ryan, and Mike Throneberry—teamed up with Joe Ayoub to form The Marked Men. Jeff and Mark shared lead vocals with a little help from Joe here and there, and Mike did his fair share of backups as well. The band went on to release four albums, four singles, and two split 7”s. And why, pray tell, was this arbitrary Denton, Texas, punk rock band any different than the million others? That’s what I aim to ask, answer, and excessively ramble about.
The defining characteristic of The Marked Men’s career is a vision of pulse-pounding melodic solidarity that shined through on all of their releases. Between the first and fourth records the separation in sound seems non-existent. Usually a band that doesn’t evolve is written off as a group of rehashers, continuously going back to the well to dig up the same old tropes time and time again, but The Marked Men don’t feel that way. Their music shows an enthusiasm for music that is catchy, fast, and simple, yet dense in approach. Characteristics of their sound are found in their steady approach to rhythm, driving drumbeats, and simplistic song structures."
"If television and Against Me! records have taught me anything, it’s best to let it end when everything is still perfect. It’s not like I’ve lost these guys, anyway. Mark’s in Mind Spiders who just put a great record, Joe’s in Low Culture who are gearing up for an LP, and Jeff’s got Novice who I think have something coming out on Dirtnap soon. There are just some things that create holes in your heart. No matter where you look, you never find anything that quite hits home in the same way. Say not in sadness that they are not, but say with joy that they were."
- By Bryan Static