Melbourne, Australiaband Satellite Gods, brought together by mastermind Brenan McMahon, have been churning out album after album in the last couple of years. Their latest effort, “Marker 7-58”, blends together rock, pop, country, Celtic, folk, and blues. There are many strengths to this album; the main one, however, are the lyrics pens by McMahon, painting story after story of a life well lived, filled with emotions, insights, and lessons deftly shared in the album’s 13 tracks.
There is a wide variety of sound in “Marker 7-58”, all of them featuring catchy melodies, throbbing or relentless rhythms, great instrumentation (with the guitar work particularly coming through), and a keyboard that deftly adds that little extra touch. Another common trait is the uplifting optimism that underlines most of the album, making this album an inspirational one.
The beat of the anthemic “Falling to Earth” captures the attention of listeners who, before having the time to dismiss this track as yet another raw, alternative rock number, turns around and becomes uplifting. Very radio friendly and catchy, the guitars are relentless, some agile fingers provide a strong bass line while great backing vocals create beautiful harmonies.
The lighthearted pop-heavy “Saturday Night in Riga” would easily find a spot on a lounge’s playlist thanks to the hints of jazz peppered throughout. McMahon’s vocals shine particularly here.A choir and an organ add an additional emotional punch to “1 Through 8”, already a strong song what with the interplay between the vocals, the guitar, and the drums, and the irresistible beat. One can easily imagine this number being the perfect addition to the soundtrack of an inspirational movie, perhaps during a scene the protagonist is about to give up but something brings him back from over the edge.
The use of the organ in “The Truth” gives it, unusually so, even more cheer than it already has. The delicate “On My Way” builds on a solid yet gentle bass line and raw, emotive vocals to take listeners to a quieter side of the band’s vision for music. Similarly, “Invisible” weaves—mostly with the help of the guitar work—a cocoon in which calm introspection can happen. The harmonies in “My Friend” as well as the strings that complement them add an extra layer of feeling. The folksy and fun “Once” brings on a Celtic vibe. The saxophone in “Turn Away” is an unexpected and pleasant surprise.
“Hold Your Ground” brings together some blues sounds and country flavours, while “That’s All” offers a multi-layered exploration of sounds. The piano-led ballad “Walk” is heartfelt and introspective, a peaceful and soothing ending to an album well-worth picking up. More information about the band is available on McMahon’s website or on the band’s Facebook page.