Since releasing their LP Universal Care in 2018, nearly everything we’ve heard from Boston noise-rockers Kal Marks has taken the form of demo collections and solo recordings from vocalist Carl Shane. But after teasing quote-unquote big news on the band’s Instagram page over the past month, the group is unveiling details for a new album called My Name Is Hell set for release on August 5 via their long-time home of Exploding in Sound—the outfit’s first release since Dylan Teggart, Christina Puerto, and John Russell joined the band.
Along with the news comes their first single that demonstrates the sheer power of this new lineup—two guitars, baby!—as well as its cautious experimentation outside of what Kal Marks has accomplished in the past. The manipulative nature of televangelism is the subject of “Ovation,” inviting the subtle backing of what sounds like pipe organ during the song’s intense chorus—barely discernible behind the powerful wall of guitars and crashing percussion. The Shayna Strype–directed video for the track, naturally, sees Shane possibly literally selling snake oil as the televised religious leader the song addresses, channeling residual thoughts of Christianity into the video’s surreal universe of stop-motion, claymation, and realistically phony hairpieces.
“During the early part of 2020 I had a weird fascination with televangelist videos,” Shane shares. “That world is far more extreme than anything I grew up with. The way the preachers move is insane and the language is so aggressive. If God’s love is so special, why are they so angry? Their speech dynamic is really not that different from any historical dictator. It’s all tactics to trick people into buying something, and if you can get one person to cheer along you then can nurture and build up a crowd of fools. I know none of this is very revealing, I’m just blown away by the lengths they go to and how ridiculous they look.”
Watch the video below, and pre-order My Name Is Hell here.