Reviews Music The Details — The Original Mark EP

The Details — The Original Mark EP

The Details - The Original Mark EP
The DetailsThe Original Mark EP
5 Tracks; CD


Review by: V. Rachel Weldon

Winnepeg's The Details provide a solid five track EP (four new and one remix of the 2007 single "Floor Plans") to follow their acclaimed full-length debut Draw a Distance. Draw a Border.

Compared to the debut’s lo-fi alt-rock energy, The Original Mark EP is hearty, homegrown Canadian music, marrying that indie-rock sound with organic folk elements. It has a certain Winnipeg-ness to it, a kind of magnetism that their hometown fellows share, like the obvious comparison The Weakerthans.

At its best, The Original Mark EP is catchy and accessible while swelling with lush orchestral arrangements and sophisticated melodies for the more attuned ear. "The Original Mark" is a stellar opening track, well-written and executed, with the right chops to back up the melodramatic vocals. “Surface Breaks” follows with a bit more energy and a bit less sincerity, a fun track with a Winnipeg reference or two ("Let’s go to Cartier Park in the night").

The EP turns on its heel on track four with "Strings and Ribbons"; it is a Christmas carol for the country-at-heart, a departure from their distinctively Winnipeg-sounding melodramatic rock song to some location of the snowy Manitoba countryside called home. And writing a modern Christmas carol that isn't repulsively cheesy - one with slide-guitar harmonies as warm as chestnuts roasting on an open fire, no less - can not be easy when even Paul McCartney's 1979 attempt still gets on everyone's nerves every year.

The Original Mark EP flows through varied musical styles while not spreading too thin. The solid songwriting and well-arranged instrumentals prove that these Winnipeg musicians know it's all in the details. See the group perform live on home ground in Winnipeg this Saturday November 27 at Lo Pub.