Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Drive On Mak “Babylon”

Like the best things in life, writing music may have to wait until other things are taken care of. No one knows that more than singer-songwriter Sean Makra who turned to songwriting only after he had spent some of his life as a soldier in the Armed Forces. It was only after time as a soldier that he allowed the musician in him to come out. Together with his brother-in-law Scott Feigh on drums and longtime friend Jason Bilderback on bass, singer/guitarist Makra created the band Drive On Mak. Having already released one EP entitled Weapon, the band returned with a new EP. This release is entitled Babylon.

Babylon from Drive On Mak begins with the title track of the release. “Babylon” is a track that combines Rock and Roll with a few elements of Reggae to create a sound that brings to mind the stylings of a band like Sublime. The gentle pace of the music mixed with the light Reggae beat gives the track a jam band-like feel. With the lyrics, Makra writes about the mythical city of Babylon being under siege, drawing from his military experience to give the visual resulting from the words so realism. “Babylon” is a solid track that has enough commercial value to it to make it perfect for an Alternative Rock radio station format.

The newest release from Drive on Mak continues with the song “Comin’ For You”. With this track, the band completely changes the feel of their sound. The track finds the trio adding a great deal of Blues influence to the song. The track’s Blues/Rock mixture is helped along with the addition of harmonica from drummer Scott Feigh. With the lyrics, the band takes the listener into a rather dark place as Makra sings about a woman on the prowl for her next victim. The Blues/Rock music mixed with the slight Horror vibe makes “Comin’ For You” a light, fun track on the Babylon EP.

Drive On Mak slows things down with the track “Kiss Thy Hand”. Just like the previous tracks, Makra creates a story-set-to-music feel to the song. The lyrics of the song revolve around the various exploits of King David from the Bible. To go along with that storybook-like lyrical approach, the band creates music that takes the listener back to the nineties-era Alternative Rock as the song ends up sounding very much like something from the likes of Soundgarden or Nirvana.

One of the best things about the music from Drive On Mak is the way the band changes from one style of music to the next with each song that they create. On the track “Outlaw,” the trio adopts a Rockabilly sound to their music. The song features a quick pace to the music while the music itself features more than just a little twang to it. That Rockabilly style goes well with lyrics about a man who tells it like it is about the fact that he lives the life of man on the outside of the law. Like the previous tracks, “Outlaw” ends up showing off just one side to the band’s musical abilities.

Just like with the earlier song of “Kiss Thy Hand,” the band slows things down on the song “Player”. With this track, the band’s style seems to suggest the musicians have been slightly influenced by Tom Waits. The lyrics of the song tell the tale of a man who does thing his own way just for fun and without care of what may happen. The lyrics of “Player” feel very Waits-like in nature with a subtle humor that comes through as you listen while the music recalls some of Waits’ earlier material, especially the song from Waits entitled “Whistling Past the Graveyard” that has a very similar rhythm to the lyrical delivery.

The “album tracks” for the Babylon EP from Drive On Mak conclude with the song “When I’m Gone”. With this track, the trio creates a Straight-out Rock and Roll track that once again features the harmonica from drummer Scott Feigh. Combined with lyrics about saying goodbye and moving on, the song feels like something that Bob Dylan may have created. The bouncy feel of the music helps to create a track that feels downright fun to listen to.

The trio of Drive On Mak brings their Babylon release to a close with the “Bonus Track”. When recording in the studio, sometimes you end up with absolute nonsense as a result of having fun. The thirty seconds of recording on the track give the listener just a little insight into the sense of humor of the bandmates as they record.

Babylon from Drive On Mak is a great example of what happens when you take three musicians with various musical influences and create a band around them. The seven tracks featured on the release move from one style to the next and combine to create a release that keeps moving and keeps the listener interested. Together, the seven tracks combine to create a strong release that never slows down.

Check out the music of Drive on Mak with the song “Babylon“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, Whiplash PR.

To check out the Babylon EP from Drive On Mak, click on the album cover below:

Drive On Mak cover