We all have to start somewhere. And if this is your starting point with veteran Texas garage superstars The Marked Men, you’ve come to the right place. On The Other Side is not a new album — although they still play a handful of shows a year, these Denton dudes haven’t released anything in a decade and aren’t likely to start now. But it is a corker of a compilation, collecting 16 short, sharp single shots of the band’s punchy, punky, pedal-to-the-metal marriage of power-pop and garage-punk — think Ramones with a little more hardcore and new wave, and a little less ’60s girl-group. If you missed it all during their heyday in the millennium’s first decade, well, it’s all new to you. And even if you’re already up to speed on these demons, the fat-free 32-minute disc includes two previously unreleased tracks to complete your catalogue. Wake up your teenage punk and see if he can still pogo like he used to.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Their affinity for fast, choppy power chords and manic energy is well-collected here: Like Robots carries a propulsive floor tom x guitar line a la Buddy Holly with some harmonizing oooh’s. That Kid is all snotty “gonna beat you up” energy, fueled by bubbling instrumentation. Go Cry ramps this notion up yet even more. Lead track She Won’t Know has all the ’70s feels — leather jackets and motorbikes fueled by TaB and orange Crush. The ballad-like The Other Side flirts with deeper feelings with a slowed-down sincerity, while Whip Myself leads off with a ringing guitar-lead-in and gives way to an ultimately melodic vs melancholy punk breakup song. The band stretches its legs throughout this solid closing credits collection and shows why it’s one of the leaders of a sound that has never gone (or will go) out of style.”