Earthmark tests their swimming ability as a new band with their debut album, “Oceans For The Nomad,” will they sink or swim?
The members of Earthmark, vocalist and bassist Nick Burns, guitarist Brad DiPalma, and drummer Anthony Crescentini, former members of the band Towns, go on an epic saga through the ocean on their ten track album.
The band’s music sounds like a hybrid of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix and Cream. The members pour their soul into the instruments as they did before in their previous band, only with more polished execution. The members have moved on from their stint as Towns to become a tighter, cleaner form called Earthmark.
The music on the album as whole coincides with the rhythm of the ocean. The band members show the variety of their skills and talent on their instruments as they begin songs with swells of long notes and the ripple of cymbals. These moments within the songs are reminiscent of what it feels like to float in water going up and down, up and down. When the tempo picks up, the long swells of notes and ripple of cymbals combine to demonstrate the moodiness and power of one of the planet’s strongest elements. One of their singles “200 Proof” is a perfect example of the transition from the soothing sound of an acoustic guitar to all three members going hard on their instruments. The band’s creativity is also present in one of their faster songs called “Orca” where you can hear one of the ocean’s most majestic and dangerous creatures: the killer whale. With each song, through their skill on the instrument and studio production, the band portrays the essence of the nomad’s biggest challenge, the ocean.
As the nomad travels on this turbulent journey across the deep blue, they scream for help, for G-d, for someone, but who can hear the nomad as Burns’ vocals compete with DiPalma’s fast-paced and frantic guitar? The poor nomad is continuously tested as both Burns’s vocals and DiPalma’s guitar playing sometimes overwhelm the songs (which clock in from four to 17 minutes) with their excitement. What is the nomad saying when DiPalma is wailing on the guitar, when Burns is growling into the microphone, and when Crescentini is splashing about?
During the calm of the storm, a single message from the nomad is heard in the song “Thin Mintz” with the lyrics, “Grab me time/And I will heal/Deliver myself from all this evil/Grab me life/And I will forgive”…”Give me love/And I will emerge.” A beautiful message asking for a second chance in exchange for a promise of change.
Water can be rough and intimidating when you first start to swim, or when you produce your first album. Earthmark’s first album holds music that is impressively strong, beautiful, and passionate, but their message struggles to keep its head above the water as the voices of their instruments overpower what they want to say. Earthmark hasn’t established their identity just yet, but their debut shows that the boys can swim and that there is no sign of drowning in sight.
“Oceans For the Nomad” comes out Feb. 24.