July 11, 2014 by Robb Powell
As the title suggests, this follow up record to 2010’s All The Pieces captures a real snapshot of a Moment. Being recorded and mixed over just seven days there is a real nice intimate live feel to it. You can get close to the action; to the music. So close that shut your eyes and you could well be in that room with them on the day. Marked brilliantly by Mark asking, ‘Rolling?’ and being answered with a holler of ‘Yep’ before commencing the lively-sounding opener Waterfall. If this doesn’t get your legs jigging about then check your pulse! But do take heed as the lyrics tell a darker tale informing you about the story this collection of ten songs will share. Even while the words spare little in the way of gory detail on the pitfalls of a life on the drink, the fervent upbeat musical arrangement will have you jubilantly humming and singing along after just a listen or two.
Moment is an incredibly personal and contemplative album opening up some deep reflections on drinking, addiction, life and love. Naturally, such topics have been touched upon many times throughout Mark’s musical past but here it feels like we are viewing and hearing things from a completely new angle. There’s a strong focus on the effects of a life on the road with drink and it is pretty clear he has channelled his extensive creative energies in order not only to express but to deal, and even heal. And it works perfectly! The fundamental Moment of the title track refers to a personal event where two very different worlds collided and something quite unexpected happened; an event that could have ended very badly but didn’t. Told from opposing perspectives with the focus of import on that single specific defining moment in question never being lost throughout. There is a sense of profound thought behind it delivered clearly and concisely by the lyrics. It pulls you in so deep you won’t be coming up anytime soon.
It isn’t all reflection and catharsis though, there’s observation too. The moving story of Christian and Pam is packed so full of character the pair practically burst through the speakers and act out the visuals in all their glorious if tragic bittersweet hopelessness. Who needs videos when the music does the job for you? Christian and Pam are the couple who live on your street. You see them around. Maybe they live next door. Whether by the history of Bullet, commemorating the heroic fallen everyday soldier of the First World War, the more familial affair told by Daughter, or even the doubly metaphorical Killing Time (suggesting the concept of an interesting alibi for a serial killing musician); Moment is littered with vibrant stories who’s characters are bought vividly to life with just the right personal touch you’ll feel like you’re on a first name basis with them all come the end. Things are bought to a beautiful close with the magnificent Last Night which is simply put – stunning!
The musical arrangements weave a delightful tapestry with Mark’s vocals and acoustic guitar. It is so seamless you would never believe the band members turned up without knowing precisely what they would be playing. The layers they build create a richness and depth which marries perfectly with the deep-rooted foundations. Again, I believe the method employed was of central importance to capture the significance of that special Moment of creating and recording it as it unfolded. It sounds more soulful and pure as a result. In sum, this album is a look back, an analysis of now and a look to the future moments that shape a life. It has left me wanting to share more moments like this please.
Moment is available from the following:
From Amazon >>here<<
From iTunes >>here<<
From Recordstore.co.uk >>here<<
And of course from the Levellers Music Shop >>here<<