the mark of cain – ill at ease

this is a great album to listen to when someone’s really fucking you off (which they are right now). and a nice little bit of hometown parochialism and nostalgia thrown in for measure. pride and emotional expression combine to help you know you’re fucking right and it’s worth fighting!

for likeness back in the day, being adelaide in the mid 1990s, the mark of cain were locally referred to as the rollins band even though that existed independently. that’s mainly because this album, perhaps their best known, was produced by henry and gave that local connection to these young people working out where they existed in the scheme of the world (and the universe – perhaps that came later). the web of music started to connect at that point.

i think i can safely identify that here is the best bass of anything so far listened to. lead singer and guitarist john scott is with his older brother and bassist kim scott. i remember regularly encountering john at uni who was studying i guess, not sure what (must have been a mature aged student – when they formed as a band i was six!). they’ve filtered through a few drummers, but currently (term loosely used) they have john stanier of battles, tomahawk and helmet notoriety.

that makes it sound like a last minute addition to attach to others’ success. in reality, these guys have been a band since the mid 1980s. by the time i knew of them, ten years later, it was via ill at ease. there are several extremely memorable songs here: interloper, hindsight, lma, walk away and of course, the contender. to me, none sound the same which seems to be an achievement with this genre of music. i say genre – when i don’t know what i mean by that. it’s heavy. it’s rock to me. that’s all that matters.

and it fucking rocks. all the genuine vids i can find from this album are below (none of which are direct album cuts), but i strongly recommend sourcing the contender somewhere, somehow. this song will be in my head on the day i die.

i could have been a contender, i could have been almost anything, it’s not like we’re equal

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