What’s your energy drink of choice? Redbull? Monster? NOS? Put those caffeinated cans of heart attack down and take a swig of The Dreaded Marco’s new album, Safe Word; the safer alternative for people who want to get up and go! For fans of rock music who prefer to take theirs black, this new release will please you in no small way. Gritty riffs, wailing solos, and obvious references to Star Wars! Okay, so perhaps it’s not as straight-forward rock as I initially said, but the band has a way of blending its variety of musical talents and preferences into a strangely cohesive musical product. Throw in a lost and confused guitarist named Mike, which makes for some amusing interludes, and you’re on your way to understanding this album.
The Dreaded Marco arrived on the scene in 2010 as the brainchild of guitarist-vocalist Charlie Sheets (Echovalve), drummer Mike Froedge (Black Label Society, DoubleDrive), and guitarist Dixie Duncan (Echovalve, Eye Empire) with the release of its first EP, Metrognome. The threesome was rounded up to a four-piece with the inclusion of bassist Scott Williams, who brought with him a love for jazz and boogie to throw into the mixing pot. Combine this with the existing groove and head banging riffs, as well as a change in personnel – exit Dixie Duncan and enter Mike Martin (Fozzy, Stuck Mojo, Agent Cooper) – and you have the soundtrack for a good time.
Join Mike as he gets lost in a multi-story shopping center of musical delights, complete with its strange, and sometimes ornery inhabitants. Fourth Floor: Restrooms, Women’s Lingerie, and the Alligator F#ckhouse. But as strange as it may be, The Dreaded Marco manages to wrap up all their diversity in a cloak of hard-hitting blues rock. “I Run Cloud City” sounds like the second coming of Van Halen’s “You Really Got Me,” the title track is the hard rock swing dance tune you’ve been waiting for, and “Bruce’s Magic Kite Circus” is a hot blooded Arabian-driving song with an addictive groove. And those aren’t even my favorites!
The Dreaded Marco aren’t worried about taking themselves too seriously, which works in their favor as a rock band. They’re able to use their talents as musicians to do what they want, even if it isn’t what is expected, which gives them greater freedom to create and enjoy themselves. The fact that they decided to encapsulate all of these ideas into a casing of blues rock makes Safe Word something of a daily multi-vitamin of music; it provides you with a dose of everything you need, in an album that’s easy to digest. That’s just the kind of band The Dreaded Marco is; always looking out for your health.
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