15 April 2024

MARK AND THE CLOUDS – Machines Can’t Hear You (2024, CD Gare Du Nord Records)




Label: Gare Du Nord Records

Format: CD, Album, Limited Edition, Black Vinyl

Release Date:  8 March 2024 

Mark & The Clouds is a London-based indie pop-folk-rock-psych band fronted by singer/guitarist/songwriter Marco Magnani (formerly in Instant Flight + The Crazy World of Arthur Brown + Smokers + Avvoltoi) whose idea to gather various friends to record new tunes led to the release of 3 albums so far, “Blue Skies Opening” (2014, Mega Dodo Records), “Cumulus” (2017, Mega Dodo Records), and “Waves” (2021, Gare Du Nord Records. “Machines Can’t Hear You” is their 4th album, released on CD through Gare Du Nord Records. Mark & The Clous consists of Marco Magnani (Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica, Irish Bouzouki, Keyboards), John O’Sullivan (Bass, Backing vocals, Pedal steel), and Shin Okajima (Drums). The album includes special guests who already appeared on previous albums: Tom Hammond (Trumpet), Joseph Hammond (Trombone), Rachel Kashi (Keyboards), Tiberio Ventura (Drums), Lucie Rejchrtova’ (Keyboards), and Javier Ayensa (Acoustic Guitar). “Machines Can’t Hear You” contains 17 tracks, dealing with Pop, Psych, and Rock while most of the tracks are performed in a perfectly executed acoustic way. The album starts in a kind of happy and groovy psych-a-poppy way with the mid-tempo “What Happened To The Future”. “Graves For You And Me” is a cool sing-a-long tune, showing a perfect musicianship, the harmonica fills any mighty gaps while the whole song emerges an intense late 80s British-Pop feel, a sense that is more than obvious on a few other tracks. The melancholic acoustic ballad “Underground” follows while on “The World Is Falling” the band lets us see their 60s influences… “Soul Of Nature” is another cool poppie track, 60s inspired but with a strong 80s feel. “The Shadow” is a lovely modern popsike track with a fantastic guitar melody, a mighty 7-inch Single, an instant radio hit, back in the day… “South 42 Westerly”, “In The Blink Of An Eye” and “What Can I Do” are cool poppy tracks blending 60s popsike with 80s guitar-pop, acoustic little beauties… “The Cry Of The Wind” is a fantastic piece of Pop-Psych Ballad with an intense 70s hard-rock-proggy feel, this one could be an acoustic ballad by Uriah Heep! The coolness continues with “Swearing  At The Moon” while “The Sun Goes Down” is a remarkable 60s-influenced epic track, just imagine a soft side of Clapton’s Cream and you’ll get the picture. “Heart At The Speed Of Sound” and “Walking Dead Man” are typical ‘Mark & The Clouds’ cool popsike tracks while the next one is an 11 minutes astonishing track (my favorite here), it’s called “The Age Of Clowns” and starts as a psychedelic moody late-night jam session, haunted keys, trippy West Coast Psychedelic guitars, emerging a strong Grateful Dead feel, becoming one of the best tracks of band’s repertoire, wow! Also, one lyric from here has lent the album’s title, “Machines Can’t Hear You  Cry”“Robotic Man” has a cool a-la “Bird Dog” (The Everly Brothers) intro, slowly becoming a typical 60s-inspired popsike track. Eventually, the album comes to an end with “Two Minds In My Head”, a balladesque tune with a strong late 60s Beatles atmosphere… So, Mark & The Clouds delivered a fine pleasant album full of popsike melodies and catchy tunes. “Machines Can’t Hear You” is a GOOD POP-ROCK album, one of the ones that you want to listen to again and again and again… TimeLord Michalis    


1 What Happened To The Future 2:24
2 Graves For You And Me 3:38
3 Underground 3:49
4 The World Is Falling 5:29
5 Soul Of Nature 3:01
6 The Shadow 4:42
7 South 42 Westerly 3:55
8 In The Blink Of An Eye 3:11
9 What Can I Do 3:40
10 The Cry Of The Wind 3:42
11 Swearing At The Moon 3:31
12 The Sun Goes Down 4:11
13 Heart At The Speed Of Sound 3:06
14 Walking Dead Man 4:00
15 The Age Of Clowns 11:05
16 Robotic Man 4:25
17 Two Minds In My Head 3:58



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