Mark Bates
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Mark Bates

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Sep
07
Mark Bates @ Harper's Ferry

Allston, Massachusetts, USA

Allston, Massachusetts, USA

Aug
10
Mark Bates @ The Attic

Newton, Massachusetts, USA

Newton, Massachusetts, USA

Jun
23
Mark Bates @ The Abbey Lounge

Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

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Music

Press


With the whole alt. Country movement seeming to go from strength to strength lately, with an artist like Ryan Adams pushing into bona-fide stardom and bands like Wilco, Grandaddy and Lambchop releasing genre defining albums Catapult are a new, but welcome, name into an ever-growing scene.

Leaning more towards a traditional country sound, without the electronica or punk/metal influences of some other bands, Catapult's sound has echoes of bands like Counting Crows, The Handsome Family and Golden Smog, while the vocals draw comparisons with Whiskeytown-era Ryan Adams, Buffalo Tom's Bill Janovitz or even in places Bruce Springsteen.

Opener, Game Show, with thrashing electric guitars, bar-room piano chords and catchy vocals sets the tone for the album perfectly. Straight-ahead rock and roll with a country tinge.

Hypnotize, follows in the same vein - keeping up the pace and energy but with enough changes in tempo and mood to really keep you on your toes, eventually mutating into a kind of calypso/reggae hybrid by the end.

Beware They Said, a more straight ahead acoustic guitar based song, once again showcases this bands knack for crafting catchy melodic rock.

Fetid, brings to mind Buffalo Tom, in particular the classic, Taillights Fade, the way the heart on the sleeve yearning vocals intertwine with the expressive guitar work, every chord feeling heartfelt and meaningful. Lyrics like, "this fetid smell in my room will linger for some time/it's the smell of dust and pain/and broken nursery rhymes", only serve to add even more dimension.

The bassline and drum intro to, Serengeti, could almost herald a Joy Division or Cure song, although the guitar stabs and vocals that follow transform things into a much more new-wave affair, an almost complete change of pace and style from the rest of the album, but one that keeps things interesting.

Closing track, Infection, is the kind of epic, soaring song that you'd hope for. All the usual sweeping vocals, emotional guitar play and piano work comes together with some truly epic percussive and orchestral sweeps that end the album on a high.

Written by Mike Bond - UKMusicsearch


I can easily understand how this trio would attract its share, maybe even more than its share, of enthusiasts, for at their best they are emotionally evocative...with its burry vocalizations, has that earnest, questing, almost keening quality which reminds me of '80s also-rans like Green On Red, particularly their untitled ninth song. The oddly ominous, see-sawing "Fresh Fallen" is an uptempo attention-grabber. (Francis DiMenno) - The Noise


Catapult (why do I want to add Turtle everytime I write Catapult?) is a fine Boston based band that released a pretty poppy album in "42". Hearing them I get a feeling of listening to what the Foo Fighters would sound like on a bit of Valium. Great vocals by Mark Bates really is what drives this band on strong tunes like "Game Show" and "Beware They Said". This is another excellently produced record where the SONGS come first before the sonics and in this case,thats a very good thing. And being Mark Bates mixed this CD w/Jez Howell,you can see the respect the band has toward its craft. A damn good album......

The band's website is quite tasty as well,clean and well thought out. Fans can write directly to Mark,Erick and Karl and have their e-mail answered quickly and on a personal note. A very nice touch.... Recommended!

http://www.thehereandthere.net/music-reviews/entry?id=51 - TheHereAndThere.net


Discography

"Wish I Was There" - 5/30/2006: 11 Songs
Catapult - "42" - 11/18/2003: 11 Songs
Catapult -"Broken Nursery Rhymes" - 02/18/2003: 5 Songs
"Cheaper Than Disappointment" - 5/2002: 10 Songs

Photos

Bio

With a voice that rings reminiscent of Bill Janovitz or Elvis Costello, and at times Bruce Springsteeen, Mark Bates is a growing beacon of hope on the Boston music scene. Mark creates a unique blend of melodic power pop and alt-country to bring a fresh sound to a sometimes stale music scene.

In 1999, Mark launched into the Boston music scene with his very well received solo album, 'Cheaper Than Disappointment'. The record, which boasts such classic tracks as '43 Seconds' (which entered the top 10 on Mp3.com) and 'Suppose I', caught the interest of local musicians Karl Haas and Erick Ellison, and Catapult was formed.

During the short course of Catapult's life span, the band released the 'Broken Nursery Rhymes' E.P. and the critically acclaimed album, '42'. Catapult brought their raucous live performances to all parts of New England, and in November of 2003 the band played to extremely enthusiastic crowds across the United Kingdom.

In April of 2004 the band played its last show together in Burlington, Vermont.

In May of 2006 Mark released 'Wish I Was There' his first solo album since 2002's 'Cheaper Than Disappointment.' The album, produced by Mark, has been mixed by industry heavy weight, Tom Polce (Mappari, Scamper, Crown Victoria, just to name a few). The album also features guest appearances by such Boston legends as Chris Toppin (Fuzzy), Scamper, and Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom, Crown Victoria).

"All I've ever wanted to do was play music, and that's what I'm doing. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's fun, but it's always worthwhile, and that's why I'm here."