After two lo-fi Eps Chicago rockers “Nora Marks” have release their first professional full length “Opt Out” but does the album still capture their energetic Diy roots or has the band evolved to something new?
On “Opt Out” the band takes on the increasing digitalization of our world and the toll it can take on the human experience.
The more punk orientated “Epiphany I’ve Had Before”, “I Think You Earned It” and “Too Much History” all revolve around the theme of finding yourself and how the online world effects, our self-esteem and our drive to change. “Too Much History” mostly wears its punk influences out, with the vocal melody giving you an anthem to chant along to.
Punk isn’t the only influence the band shows, on tracks like “Nice To Me” the band shows an emo edge while describing social media’s influence on our free time and how people always seem to be on, as well as the stressful effect the hunting of Likes can have.
Alt rock anthem “The Ballad of the Surfin’ Cowboy” seems to come straight out of the nineties, with its upbeat guitars and lyrical hook on the chorus. The Lyrics themselves seem to be about celebrity worshiping and the slew of life can become.
To keep adding to “66” the band adds a Country edge to the song before going into a midwestern Emo direction. Lyrically the song takes a detour from the reflection on digital society and instead takes a look at addiction and the toll it takes on its protagonist.
Returning to the punk inspired-alt rock, the upbeat “A General Malaise” hides the dark subject matter of the song, which as the title suggest revolves around the protagonist “Malaise” and his numbness to the situation and how it plays into his addiction.
The last two tracks “The Wrongdoing” and “Step Brothers” reflect on a way back to the light, the hurdles the protagonist has to overcome as well as the questioning of reality, nihilism and the lasting effects of the digital world the protagonist lives in.
“Opt Out” paints a dark mirror of our world in the digital age and the struggles we have to overcome, with the bands punk influences shining mostly on their social commentary and use of subject matter, but besides the punk influences the band shows they have a number of inspiration and aren’t afraid to experiment, with that being said, not every experiment is as successful as you would hope, but that’s ok and the whole reason a band needs to experiment. I will surly keep an eye on how the band evolves their sound to truly make it their own.
Songs of “Opt Out” you should check out!
“Epiphany I’ve Had Before”
“The Ballad of the Surfin’ Cowboy”