Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
They say New York City never sleeps, that it must be suffering from a kind of metropolis induced insomnia, the bright lights of Broadway constantly ablaze with show information, Time Square pumping out electricity, eye catching news and the simple off 77th Street and 3rd Avenue bar which stays open all night, all the collected lights and glow of the neighbourhood, and yet it can still be to the lonely, the thoughtful and the heartbroken, a place where songs are written about the Big Dark City.
Sam Marine’s third outing into the lights sees the shadows we try to leave behind come forth, to reclaim a side of us which feels the bitterness of life but which we cover up with the blanket of solitude, a radiance of hope against the glare of all the lights shining down on us, the beams of light which show our imperfections and the sometimes insubstantial ghostly trail we leave as we walk along with our heads held high.
Sam Marine’s Rock infused Country E.P., Big Dark City, is one of introspective drama, the small things that make up our life but to which we sometimes don’t pay enough attention too; the troubles with relationships, friendships blown out of proportion, the slide into unheralded domesticity, unwanted inside the soul but grasped at on the outside. It is the struggle we have between wanting to be in the glare of the centre stage and the burrow in which we can be ourselves.
The five song strong E.P. are the tunes that accompany the decision to head out into the night, to check out a bar or two and get lost along the way; in the illumination of New York City’s insomnia, salvation can always be found and Sam Marine offers the place to stay for a while with an open heart and a tale or two to tell.
From the E.P. title track, through Dawn Come and Gone, Freeze em Out, I’ll Soon Be Gone and Mike Lee, Sam Marine’s Rock based stories are fruitful and steeped in the real, there is no sense of the outlandish or the added extra anecdote or smouldering propaganda; this is a man who will pour you a drink and allow you to find your own way home, guided only by the memory of the city which insomnia reins.
The Big Dark City is an E.P. of warmth, depth and memory, one that is in tune with its own dramatic and honest pulse.
Ian D. Hall