Stupid Today 7"Fat Wreck Chords
By Dustin Blumhagen
Old Man Markley have been perfecting their blend of bluegrass and punk attitude over the past few years. After the release of their second full length, the phenomenal Down Side Up, the group has continued to tour heavily. The group has made a tradition of releasing 7″ records dispersed throughout their career and they continue with Stupid Today. Like on their three previous vinyl releases, the album contains two tracks, one of which is an original and the other a cover.
The title track to the release kicks things off with a familiar bluegrass sound. Until John Carey’s recognizable voice kicks in, the song could easily be mistaken for an Old Crow Medicine Show or Devil Makes Three number. But once he starts singing, the band picks up the tempo and the song changes noticeably. The mid tempo song is a catchy number, full of female harmonies, shout outs and John Rosen’s banjo picking. It is an entertaining listen that will feel familiar to fans of the band.
The surprise is their cover of NOFX’s Reeko. While the root of the original can be heard, Old Man Markley make the song their own. The mournful melodies and Katie Weed’s fantastic fiddle add to the atmosphere of the song. The song starts with a fast pace and is fractured by a surprising spoken word recitation of lyrics from NOFX‘s Perfect Government. When they return to Reeko, the song is slowed way down to a simple swagger. Of all their covers so far, this is easily the most engaging.
As 7″s tend to be, Stupid Today is over quickly. Luckily both of the tracks are great and warrant repeated listens and will keep listeners flipping the album steadily, wearing deep grooves into both sides. Old Man Markley have an easily identifiable sound, but they still manage to keep things fresh as they continue their whirlwind release schedule. They comfortably straddle the line between folk music and punk music and their entertaining music showcases the strengths of their willingness to stretch musical boundaries.