by Vincent Lee
With a lead singer by the name of Tim, the Postmarks, on first listen, might surprise. The male name is misleading as the lead singer is a woman with a wonderful voice reminiscent of Chan Marshall. After their self-titled debut, which met with great critical success, the Postmarks (from Miami, Florida) have released an album of covers in a unique format. Twelve songs with each containing a number from one to eleven, with the exception of the final song “Pinball Number Count.” The creative format is only a minor feature of this very strong cover album.
Most records of this nature end poorly with the band either doing nothing to make the covers original or altering too much. By the Numbers does well to balance the degree of creativity. The selection of artists is rather compelling as well. From Jesus & Mary Chain to Bob Marley, several different musical backgrounds are covered. Each song is shaped to fit Tim Yehezkely's gorgeous voice and the Postmarks' style. “One Note Samba,” “Five Years,” and “7-11”stand out as key tracks.
The opening track “One Note Samba,” an Antonio Carlos Jobim song, is a quiet ballad carried along by Yehezkely's voice ending with a wonderful solfège. Perhaps the best song on the album and the one that most captures the Postmarks' style is their David Bowie cover “Five Years.” “7-11” takes a Ramones song and changes its original character into something unique. This is really what is done well throughout the album. Every song feels like a Postmarks original.
Though By the Numbers is only the Postmarks' second full album, it further showcases the great potential of this band. Their first self-titled album was a great debut and this second release builds upon that. Fans of the band will enjoy this cover record. By the Numbers should draw in more fans as it is a rather accessible work, like most of the Postmarks' music.
(The promotional photo of the Postmarks is from Unfiltered Records. The Postmarks will play a concert date Saturday, Nov. 15 in Orlando, FL. To see a Postmarks' video for "11:59" from By the Numbers, please check below.)
By the Numbers
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by Vincent Lee