Cain Marko At Sea

Fans of awesome music hailing from Michigan (or beyond) will love Cain Marko's At Sea EP, a terrific throwback to early '90s pop punk paying homage to the likes of Jawbreaker, Hot Water Music (frontman Chris Lidstone's gravelly voice is oddly similar to Chuck Ragan's) and Small Brown Bike. The four-song EP is a perfect blend of solid vocals and melody, with memorable hooks; it's simple, yet extremely catchy, with hints of redundancy at points due to a slight lack of musical variation. Cain Marko aren't a band with any one standout gimmick, with At Sea allowing all the members to shine while simultaneously adopting a gruff "this is a brotherhood" attitude (thanks to the gang vocals). Premiere track "At Sea, in St. Paul" blasts in with a declaration that, "This song is about drinking." No duh. There's been a surge in comebacks for veteran pop-punk forefathers, like Lifetime and Hot Water Music (among others), and Cain Marko's debut EP is a good fit, with perfect timing. And that's a double entendre ― seriously, the band's timing and rhythm within the four songs are worth a close listen. (Independent)