With Just A Lonely Fart, Kal Marks adds to the nascent genre of poop/fart-related album or song titles courtesy of Exploding in Sounds Records (see Krill’s surprisingly brilliant “Turd”).

But the album art, a drawing of a man engulfed in flames, combined with the title, are actually quite fitting. This is an EP about serious stuff, but the EP itself isn’t too serious.

Kal Marks has experience combining the enormity of human suffering with the levity of humor. The title track from their excellent LP Life is Murder combined lines like “Nothing seems fair in this world anymore” with sardonic quips like “I’ve never been so happy with a bottle of lotion in my lap.” With Just a Lonely Fart, the Boston-based trio continues in this tradition.

On “Zimmerman,” a reference to George Zimmerman and the first track on the EP, Kal Marks seems to add social commentary to their mission statement. “Zimmerman” begins with surprisingly bright guitar that gives way to Carl Shane screeching about the never-ending injustices of our world.

“Don’t Pussy Foot with a Pussy Footer,” continues with the dark, melancholic material of 2013’s Life is Murder. Chugging bass and guitar, complemented by amelodic noise, mirror the inner turmoil and depression Shane sings about (“I’ve never been so bored / Some days I just want to die”). Still, under the sludge is a discernible melody — you just have to crank it up to pick it out.

Just when you think you get the point, “It Was a Very Hard Year” hits even harder. This one is the real downer. Like a lot of Kal Marks songs, it’s sloppy — not that there’s anything wrong with that — but the point comes across nonetheless. After moseying along for a bit too long, the song ramps on a riff reminiscent of DC-based bands like Jawbox.

“It Was a Very Hard Year” is a fitting finale, combining both the introspection and social commentary of the previous two tracks, whether that is the intention or not (the song is apparently about a car accident that Shane experienced, rather than a statement on the strife of 2014).

Just a Lonely Fart may fall just short of the odd charm of previous Kal Marks tracks like “Life is Murder” or “All I Want in Life is a Solid Porch,” but a lot of emotion is packed into just under 13 minutes. By the end, Just A Lonely Fart feels like much more than three songs. Even if you can’t understand every word from Shane’s shrill vocals, you’ll find yourself agreeing: “Damn…it really was a very hard year.”

Album Review: Kal Marks - Just A Lonely Fart
  • Kind of a downer
  • Sludgy, grungy, heavy guitar
  • Kind of a downer
  • Carl Shane's vocals may not be for everyone
8Kinda A Downer

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