There is plenty of music out there today that has no real emotion or experience behind it. Just take a peek at the pop charts. When an artist chooses to pour his real heart and true personal journey in his songwriting it can truly connect with the listener. It also helps the songwriter heal from a tumultuous past. Our recent find Drive On Mak is a great example of this authentic music with true stories told through song.
The 3 piece band from San Marcos, Texas is made up of guitarist Sean Makra, drummer Scott Feigh, and bassist Jason Bilderback. Together they form a unique sound with ties to the Blues, Rock, and Punkabilly genres. There is more to their music as well with social commentary running through the lyrics.
As the main songwriter of Drive On Mak, Sean Makra has a lot to look back on for inspiration. He served in the US Army for 11 years, including 3 tours in the war torn country of Iraq. With this intense array of life experiences, he is able to delve into the edgy darkness of revolution and war, with epic and somewhat scary depictions of combat. The band explores everything from post-war PTSD, spirituality and themes of love and loss.
Sean says. “Our feelings transcend our music. We play, write and sing with a great deal of passion. Our music is a reflection of us. There is a lot of love in what we do. My writing is a reflection of my interpretation of the path that I’ve walked. I’ve been thru a lot, and I’ve survived a lot. I pour all of that into my music and I play those songs with my two best friends.”
The latest record from Drive On Mak is the touching and energetic Babylon EP. The 7 track album pulls no punches and puts it all out there for the listener to experience. The opener, and title track, “Babylon” combines personal feelings with Biblical tales. The melodic guitar leads the charge as Makra’s scratchy emotion fueled vocals paint the picture.
The energy and dark imagery picks up some on “Comin’ For Ya”. The folk storytelling vocals take us down a shady path of a girl prowling on younger men to eat them alive. Part of this one brought back memories of the legendary Nirvana acoustic performance of Meat Puppet’s songs.
Drive On Mak Combines Personal Stories With Biblical Imagery
The biblical theme continues through “Kiss Thy Hand” with touches of Israel’s King David. The interesting tempo grabs the listener’s attention with its rises and falls. The gravelly vocal delivery of the chorus gives it an even more authentic feel. A high end guitar solo is featured on this one as well.
The walking bass beat of “Player” provides a real toe tapping and head bopping experience. The instrumentation really shines here as well with energetic drum and guitar fills. Energy rises even more on the harmonica led “When I’m Gone”. The pace will keep your body moving as the lyrics tell the tale of the harsh breakup of an Army marriage. Both Sean and I have experienced this all too common occurrence in the military life making it really hit home. But it did leave a smile on my face. This is what real music is supposed to do. Connect with the listener and entertain their emotions.