Mark E Moon is a new band that came together as a working project in the Autumn of 2018 by Mark Sayle and Phil Reynolds. Their songs are about sex, death and addiction and they describe their music as dystopian post-punk/wave . Their debut album titled "Refer" was released on CD on the 29th of November 2019 on the German Cold Transmission label. The album turns a lens to the darker side of life and peers at the seedy underbelly. As the name of the album suggests, the songs are full of references, some hidden/some obvious, to literature, musical genres and the works of great artists that have gone before.

The duo from Isle of Man, came together over alcohol and a shared love of music, such as Joy Division, The Sisters Of Mercy, The Chameleons, late 70s and early 80s electro. All these influences can be seen on the opening track "Into The Arms Of Entropy", which is a very impressive example of their sound. It’s accompanied video directed by Marie Reynolds was done on a budget of absolutely nothing! On "Time Enough For Love" that follows, things get more rhythmic. Each song on the album examines a particular issue. For example, the synth driven "Electronic" is about the power dynamic between cam girls and their viewers. While the more upbeat "Hollow Eyes" (featuring guitarist Kieran Ball) is about the death of a relationship.

With "Delta Of Venus" we start to see their more gothic rock side. Things get heavier with "Out In The Dark" that brings to mind the song "In The Flat Field" by Bauhaus. Next, we have "Amanda" and "Euphoria", two mid-tempo tracks with subtle synths, dark basslines and nice guitar riffs. The track that really stood out for me was
"Abandon". A ten minute long epic track reminiscent of early Sisters Of Mercy from the Reptile House era. The album closes with the "Strange Fruit", a sparse dark track with a lone bassline and echoey vocal and drum beat that gradually progresses with more electronic elements.

Review by Nick Drivas.