Portland, Oregon has a reputation of producing some of the weirdest acts and artists around (if not the weirdest people in general) that somehow still find a way to capture our attention and hearts. The Macks are no exception to that rule, this four piece alt-rock band was formed in 2015 by brother duo Ben (guitar/production) and Joe Windheim (drums) along with their good friend Sam Fulwiler (vocalist). It would not take long for the three to put out their first EP titled “Nightcrawler” a self described blues rock and punk album. Shortly along this path they would add Bailey Sauls to the lineup on bass. Which leads us to today, with the latest EP titled “Happy Camper”
The album literally starts off with a gong in “Love Inflation” and wastes no time in showing us everything The Macks have to offer. Frantic and energetic vocals roar out over the bizarre riffs and steady drum work, the guitar and bass flow together well and create a catchy set of riffs that remind me of old school Primus (and that is never a bad thing). This opening track shows off the songwriting talent, and will have you wondering what else this creative set of people have to offer. Which carries us into “Buffalo” a more blues rock influenced song that continues to show off the story telling inspiration of the band. With clever lyrics that are delivered with passion, the track is well produced and each of the instruments is given a moment to shine. “Diana” and “No Name” both slow things down just a bit, the tempo may have changed here but the booming drums and roaring guitar riffs are still here. The vocal range here continues to be a shining point of the album with a great bluesy (almost raspy) delivery backed by the solid instrumentation, The Macks are far from phoning it in on any of the tracks they have chosen to include on “Happy Camper”. The closing track is titled “Nightcrawler” and is a perfect example of modern blues fueled rock, the delivery of this well crafted story is top notch and has some fantastic backing group vocals across the song. There are some great guitar moments on this track, backed up by some foot stomping drum work to keep the song moving. If by the end of this EP you are not sold yet on The Macks, you should go back and try again.
The influences of The Macks are clear, citing bands including Led Zeppelin, Ty Segall and Cage The Elephant. The members of The Macks have created a well balanced alternative rock album, with a heavy dose of blues thrown on top of their own unique and eclectic sound. With many things on the horizon (including a music video for Love Inflation) for the four members of The Macks, they hope to take not only Portland but the rest of the North West by storm. If they continue to put out the kind of quality music that is “Happy Camper” they are quickly on the road to becoming a much more common name among the people in the music scene of the North West. So waste no time in checking out this delightful five song set of bluesy alt rock.