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The Sultanic Verses

Mark Sultan

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Album Review

The artist formerly known as BBQ has reverted back to his given name of Mark Sultan, but if you dug the raw, minimal blues-rock shuffle of BBQ's Tie Your Noose, the good news is that Sultan is still delivering the goods on his first album under his own name, The Sultanic Verses. While this music is a long, long way from slick, The Sultanic Verses does sound a bit cleaner and more orderly than BBQ's earlier material; rather than going strictly for a live one-man band approach, Sultan has brought in a few friends to help him (though he's still playing the lion's share of the music himself), and thanks to judicious overdubbing there's more music and less noise this time out. But Sultan has refined his technique without robbing his music of its good and greasy soul; "Beautiful Girl" and "Two Left Feet" make with the good groove as Sultan hits a solid rhythm and lets it ride, while the slightly freaky menace of "Cursed World," "Mortal Man" and "Unicorn Rainbow Odyssey" confirms he can do more than just start the party. While the tunes are basic and the recordings simple on this disc, Sultan is able to bring more layers to the arrangements which bring out their strong points, and his singing has an easy confidence and rough-hewn grace that's welcome among nuevo garage howlers. In short, if you liked BBQ, you'll love Mark Sultan — he's delivering the same kind of rock action without sinking into a rut or making noise for its own sake, and the result is an album that's big and frantic fun.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Mark Sultan has become one of the leading figures on the Canadian garage punk scene, cranking out high-test rock & roll with a handful of memorable bands as well as making a name for himself as a solo act. Hailing from Montreal, Sultan was a preteen metal fan with a taste for Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden before he was introduced to hardcore punk at the age of 12, and moved on to raw '60s sounds and garage punk when he was 16. Sultan first began playing out when he signed on as drummer for a...
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The Sultanic Verses, Mark Sultan
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