Dark Mean make their home in the medium sized city of Hamilton, Ontario, right around the corner from Toronto on the shore of Lake Ontario. Hamilton isn't striking in a big city way, there are no majestic towers, towering skyscrapers, or hipster-centric shopping areas, but it does impress with a natural rugged physicality that fittingly matches the working heart of the city, the steel mills. Now you may expect this band to blaze forth a molten slab of metal, but you'd be wrong, very wrong, Dark Mean have their roots in indie rock, with branches reaching into alt country and folk.
What they're offering on their EP, Frankencottage, is four songs that all bear a distinct personality offered in differing moods, or shades. I'm especially enjoying "Happy Banjo" and "Lullaby". Both these songs gain strength from that much maligned instrument the banjo. The banjo being the guitar's forgotten brother. Many of us love the guitar, it's like a nice cold glass of milk, or warm milk, whereas the banjo is a glass of curdled milk, the sound is murkier, veiled, much more mysterious. Yes, the banjo has a sunny brightness to it, but there's something else there, it's like watching a scary film about a haunted house and the scariest scene in the movie takes place on the sun drenched front lawn. That's what the banjo can bring to a piece of music... a sunny menace--and, as I said, Dark Mean use the banjo and use it well.
Visit the band's website to find a FREE download of the EP, Frankencottage. What you won't find there, or in the band's music is darkness, or meanness.