Review: Mark McGuire – “Along The Way”


Mark McGuire
Along The Way

Dead Oceans – February 4th 2014
By Justin Emmett D’Angelo (@jemette)
Find it at: iTunes | Insound | Official Store



Mark McGuire has always leaned more towards ambient styles but sitting next to it, Along The Way feels like a long instrumental ego stroke that enforces a weird headspace. It’s tough to digest but even then it’s a solo attempt that only the likes of Alan Parsons could fuck with. The record plays out as soft core guitar porn, lapsing through simple, melodic beats that play as coherently as a ’90s hacker film (“The Instinct”) but it’s also coated in background noises – i.e. a few friends casually talking nonsense on “The Human Condition” – and its placement feels sort of nihilistic.

McGuire’s ability to tie quiet melodies together (“The Lonelier Way”) and pen satisfying build-ups (“Turiya”) are hard to ignore yet as a whole, Along The Way feels like a rushed attempt to wash over his admirable past with Emeralds. There’s very little optimism throughout the drudging of McGuire’s drawn out instrumental sessions and the titles of certain recordings (“The War On Consciousness”) quietly profess a restless struggle with experimenting as a solo act. It starts off sweet and ends with bitter nostalgia but it’s not familiar enough to stick to after a few spins.

Listen: “Turiya”, “The Lonelier Way”,  “In Search Of The Miraculous” || Watch: “The Instinct”

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