First the band......
Death On Mars was formed in 2006 by BJ Skoff and Chuck Hodge, who had formerly played together in the band 'In Between Days'. They wrote and recorded throughout that year and released the full-length debut entitled Tomorrow's Today in March of 2007. Jon Bonser has joined the band in 2009 to play drums.
The trio began playing live on July 31, 2007 and since that time have played numerous shows at various venues in southern California. They have played with numerous local San Diego bands as well as a plethora of national touring bands.
Other recent activity includes completion of recordings in late spring/early summer of 2010. All of this comprises the fiery, and often foggy, live performance sets of Death On Mars.
As for the name.............
The name came from a biography on Echo and the Bunnymen. Ian McCulloch was asked what he thought of the Martian rovers finding what looked to be the remains of life on Mars. His reply was that it only proved that there was death on Mars. Also the phrase can be heard in a lyric from the Echo song "Too Young To Kneel" off of the Evergreen album.
Chuck - guitar
Jon Bonser - drums
BJ - bass & vocals
Death On Mars (self titled e.p.)
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From the slow-building noise-blast intro dragging the opening song--"True"--out into the world, you ...From the slow-building noise-blast intro dragging the opening song--"True"--out into the world, you can tell that the debut by this San Diego trio is going to be quite a dust-up. A wide-spectrum thrash aesthetic not too distant from vintage Sonic Youth runs through just about all of 'Tomorrow’s Today', the band's locomotive rhythms providing foundation for slash-and-burn guitars. Though the group pause for breath occasionally, as on the hushed balladry of "X's and O's", for the most part it's off-kilter, subterranean-sounding soundscapes. Case in point is "Sunlight Princess," where singer/bassist BJ Skoff's vocals and skittering bass give way to a throbbing, blurring racket. Emblematic of this band is "Empty", perhaps the disc's highlight, an anxiety-ridden song that in its way catches the wired mood of these crazed times.
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Death on Mars's recent album, "Tomorrow's Today," opens the world to a sound that is mixed between S...Death on Mars's recent album, "Tomorrow's Today," opens the world to a sound that is mixed between She Wants Revenge and, somehow, Teenage Fanclub (yeah, remember them?). The result is a unique take on rock music, opening a new door for listeners. The bass-heavy beats are often the lead into tracks sung by a low, stinging voice full of strength from struggle. Lyrically, the album is downright easy, no forced metaphors anywhere, which is relieving. The melodic "Doorways" tampers with a sliding harmony, proving quite successful in the chorus. "Empty" showcases a bass comparable with that of Mike Starr (Alice in Chains), and the idea that grunge is an influence here is apparent. The band, however, works together quite well, offering a unique album that deserves to be heard and appreciated.
--Lindsay Johnson (LJ)
Death On Mars
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Death on Mars scream prog-rock with their name and shout it even louder on the first track. "True" o...Death on Mars scream prog-rock with their name and shout it even louder on the first track. "True" opens with a rapid drum intro, Mars Volta distorted guitars, and doomstruck lyrics about hell.
The album as a whole is much more eclectic though. Death disco ("In the End"), lush balladry ("Curve of the Earth"), and even chamber pop ("Doorways") infuse Tomorrow's Today.
If a particular genre dominates, though, it's post-punk. It never exactly fails but often the band has a tough time reconciling this Ian Curtis-style rage with its compositional perfectionism.
Overall, though, the eleven tracks cohere fluidly due its heavily textured soundscapes, as Death on Mars announce they are one of San Diego's most promising bands.
--Matthew Powers (MP)
Usually runs between 30 and 40 minutes.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.