Drive on Mak EP Review: Powerful

“Babylon” by Drive on Mak, a Texas-based neo-blues/rock/punkabilly trio,  is an expressive and intense extended record. Explicit and genuine lyrics, sincere emotions and wailing electric guitar.

Sean Makra is not only a lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is also a former soldier and three-time Iraq veteran. Most of the band’s lyrics are influenced by Sean’s wartime experience. Scott Feigh is a drummer, and Jason Bilderback is a bassist.

Drive on Mak’s songs tell the stories about paradoxical reality. There are war and peace, love and loss, spirituality and disbelief in “Babylon’s” lyrics. Marka opens up about post-war Post-traumatic stress disorder, misconceptions about veteran’s life and other issues that are usually forsaken by society.

From the first chords, of “Babylon” you sense melancholy and isolation. There are inevitable honesty and truthfulness in the lyrics. “Tomorrow Babylon will fall,” sings Marka. It seems, his voice adds emotion to a composition. It is sorrow and grief. In the moments of desperation, it is a perfect song to listen to cease the pain.

“Player” is similar to a “Babylon” composition. There is a question of ten commandments. The theme of faith is central in particular song. “I am speeding as I drive just to feel alive.” They draw connections with the war; confront the listener with a shocking actuality. Sean Makra plays with the words, “If you don’t like the games I play then you don’t have to play/ this player is gonna play his games/ just the way he plays.”

“When I am gone” evokes different emotions. Rhythmic, upbeat, and cheerful. “Pack your shit and get out of the door. No never, ever look back.” It is a song about letting go and moving on. Even though it can be a difficult decision. “It is time for you to grow up. It is time for you to move on.”

“Outlaw” is another upbeat song. “I am an outlaw, number one. Hustling, stealing, gambling, playing with guns. Outlaw is what I do, blue jeans, T-shirt, black tattoos.” There is no sorrow or despair, rather anger and complacency. It is a perfect song for an action movie. You feel the speed and taste victory.

“Kiss Thy Hand” is probably the weakest song on the album, a monotonous and tedious composition. There is a strong emotional connection to the song however as Makra sings, “He breaks the legs to save the land.” As a result, you are in the presence of profound sadness, hopelessness, and desperation.

Overall, “Babylon” is an affecting and powerful extended record. It is a blend of affliction, agony, and anger. Love and peace inseparably intertwined with sorrow and war. It will make you feel isolated but at the same time content.

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Svitlana Kovalenko

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