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Articles Home » 1997 Articles » Allen, Mark (Band) - 1997 Six Interlocking Pieces
Allen, Mark (Band) - 1997 Six Interlocking Pieces

ARTIST: Allen, Mark (Band)
ALBUM: 6 Interlocking Pieces
LABEL: Blue Car Records
SERIAL: 1095-2
YEAR: 1997
SPONSOR: Mark Allen Band/Blue Car Records


LINEUP: Mark Allen - guitars, lead vocals * Tony Agapiou Jnr - keyboards * Barney Cortinez - bass * Michele DiSisto - drums * Karla Gianelli - background vocals * Carol Kaye - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Wishing Well * 02 Take My Heart * 03 Lightning Never Strikes * 04 I Will Be There * 05 Take Me Back * 06 Same Old Star * 07 Fear Of Falling * 08 Heart And Soul * 09 I Need A Lover * 10 One Night

Coming at ya from North Los Angeles are this melodic rock combo centered around the talents of mainman Mark Allen. Though this is a recent promotion by the bands management, this CD contains material spanning the 1995-97 period. Quite an interesting lineup this one, with two additional backing vocalists which really give this band that extra 'something' in the vocal stakes similar to the material released by the likes of Tantrum and other female influenced bands during the early eighties. Musically, they strike a heavy influence on Tyketto, though you can probably throw Winger and Triumph (circa 'Survelliance') in there as well. Mark's tenor vocal style is a cross between Danny Vaughan and also Rik Emmett. I was even tempted to break out some of my older Triumph CD's upon hearing '6 Interlocking Pieces' which is giving credit where it's due.

The Songs
I'm gonna go straight to the heart of the matter here and say that songs like 'Take My Heart', 'Lightning Never Strikes' and the fantastic Emmett vocal flavoured 'Same Old Star' are getting a constant workout on the CD player, such are the magnetic hooks scattered throughout these songs. The latter song has that magic mix of acoustic and electric guitars blended together that bands like Boston, Triumph and Tyketto do so well. The power ballad 'I Will Be There' invokes memories of the best slower moments of AOR, with the chorus and bridge sections layers deep with harmony vocals, 'Take Me Back' also is reminiscent of Rik Emmett's solo material while 'Wishing Well' opens up with parping keyboards and displays a guitar strut in true Winger fashion throughout. One interesting track is 'Fear Of Falling' where Mark ventures into hitherto 'angelic realms' by giving a vocal performance Steve Perry would be proud of.

In Summary
If there is one criticism I have it's in the drum mix, the cymbals in particular seem to splatter a bit throughout proceedings, but everything else indicates MAB have the springboard in place to go onto bigger and better things. Though this is older material, perhaps it's time for some new material to be released. Perhaps someone could give this team a bigger budget where those harmony vocals and the drums can be maximised to full effect. A special thanks goes to Christie from Blue Car Records for the opportunity. To order this CD, or to view Mark Allen's webpage go to this address shown above.

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