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Articles Home » 2000 Articles » Watson, Mark (Band) - 2000 Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda
Watson, Mark (Band) - 2000 Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

Mark Watson - vocals, guitar; Mark Konzen - bass, vocals; Dave Wilk - drums

Blasting out of the Windy City of Chicago with a pleasing brand of breezy, melodic and addictive pop-rock is the Mark Watson Band. Their sophomore effort 'Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda' is weaned on a healthy diet of Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello, and the MWB stand as a testament to the fact that an independent album needn't be badly produced or filled with anonymous tunes. In case you hadn't guessed already, this three-piece is fronted by versatile singer/songwriter Mark Watson and he has crafted a collection of songs, which nearly all make the right impression. Joined by a number of talented back-up musicians, Mark Watson is obviously not used to doing things by halves.

The Songs
Just one listen to lead-off single 'King Of Big Mistakes' is all it takes to get a feel for the band's pop-rock and Mark's introspective lyrical stance. The album's themes of regret, broken relationships and cynicism are encompassed in this one tune and would be downright depressing were it not for some powerful, upbeat rhythms and harmonies. It makes for a combination that for the most part manages to hold the attention. The rocky 'A Reunion' follows suit, with a brash and energetic riff and the humourous 'Darwin Was Right', with the excellent lyric 'I'm a real pro in bed/ I've read all the books that tell me what to do next', completes a terrific opening trio. By now it's clear Mark Watson has the conviction, talent and songs to match the excellent production, and the catchy hooks just keep on coming. 'All Right' is very Joe Jackson and features some nifty guitar work, while the smooth, jazzed-up 'Can You Feel It' should be standard issue for the stereo of any convertible car. Mark's Elvis Costello influences jump out on the catchy 'It's Gonna Take Patience', a solid tune which I would bet was part of the set when the guys played the pop festival IPO earlier this year. But the two standouts have to be 'Fine' and 'Just My Luck'. The former rocks out with the conviction of fellow Chicago natives Enuff Z Nuff and blows the listener away with an incredibly addictive hookline. 'Just My Luck' is built around a nice acoustic intro and leaps out with a punchy chorus. A couple of other tunes, 'Past The Grays' and 'I Can Always Dream' don't quite hit the mark, as Mark's gritty yet melodic voice is better suited to the rockier material where he doesn't have to reach such a high vocal range. Also, the introspective lyrical stance can be a little weary at times and the intervention of songs like 'Eddie', a well-performed tribute to legendary axe-man Eddie Van Halen is quite welcome.

In Summary
If you crave well written, intelligent pop-rock songs delivered with lashings of heart and soul, don't end up regretting that you let 'Coulda Shoulda, Woulda' pass you by. But even so, Mark would probably write a great song about the experience for his next record!


Track Listing:
01 Things I Never Did
02 The King of Big Mistakes
03 A Reunion
04 Darwin Was Right
05 Past The Grays
06 All Right
07 Can you Feel It?
08 One Step Ahead
09 Fine
10 Just My Luck
11 It's Gonna Take Patience
12 Eddie
13 Nobody's Business But Mine
14 I Can Always Dream

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