REVIEWS

                            
BLACK LIPSTICK

"Metamorphic Journeyman"
Mark Lane "Black Lipstick" CD-EP

    Nice to know some things don't change. This CD single harkens back to the intense, warm, almost claustrophobic world of home recording electro-balladeers and Indie-Pop Experimenters circa the late 70's in the vein of Robert Rental, Thomas Leer & The Normal - very up-front music, reminiscent of a sort of early Ultravox-Japan crossover. "Black Lipstick" sets the scene, a medium-pacer with thickset preset keyboards set against sharp simplistic rhythm box. Distinctive sounding, with Lane's voice rounded & tonal. "I'll Be Kissing You Later" is much in the same style, somewhat stripped to basics, making it surprisingly effective. "That's Dream" concludes the single, again a likeable bedroom pop song, slipping David Tolegien's alto sax into the mix to great effect. Judging from the cover and some of the lyrics, Lane portrays himself as a sort of lapsed Goth, but to compare his music, you have to go right back to the roots of that dark style and forget the word Rock. Not sure I'd play it constantly, but makes a nice light alternative to the heavier music I listen to. What he does with the limited palette of (presumably) preset keyboards, he does well. Judged on it's own merits, it gets a definite thumbs-up. Antony Burnhamfor Metamophic Journeyman.


"Second Avenue"
Mark Lane "Black Lipstick" CD-EP
August 5th, 1994.

    Opening with the title track comes some Gary Numan/Japan influenced music from the USA. The vocals have loads of feeling and control. Long sustained keyboard and slow electro drums power this along to a strange instrumental section that is later in the song. A good opener but not as good as the second track "I'll Be Kissing You Later". Mark's superb suductive and suggestive vocal peels the cloths off the subject with ease. The strange backing and vaguely A-Ha chorus makes this all rather excellent. A track that is influenced heavily by Japan but I'll bet they'll wish it was their's! "That's Dream" closes the proceedings. It's slow again with some excellent high vocals in a grown up A-Ha style. The sax break is enjoyable over the electro beat. Melodic and interesting throughout. The three tracks are all very original and work well. I would have liked a little warmer production and a slightly more releaxed keyboard style in places but these are all minor comments in comparison to the overall great effect! Rating 8. By Trevor Hall, Editor of "Second Avenue," 58 Peel Rd., Chelsford, Essex, CM2 6AL England.


"Bizarre Magazine"
Mark Lane "Black Lipstick" CD-EP
June, 1994.

    Released a plethora of material over the years via the likes of Idiosyncratics, De Fabriek, and Artwerk. From California Mark Lane produces quirky sensuous classy electro with crooning vocals. If released by the likes of Marc Almond and Ultravox you would see these songs in the charts and clutched to young things hearts. He's taken an avant garde stance with alot of his material in the past and been often compared with the likes of Edward Ka-Spel, perhaps now's the time to ditch the pretentions.