Tampa, Florida’s own progressive rock group, Makari recently released their new album “See Dreams”, their second release. Over the summer they got the chance to play the Ernie Ball stage at Tampa’s Warped Tour 2013 after winning the Ernie Ball Battle of The Bands. They’ve played with well known names such as Memphis May Fire, Balance And Composure, La Dispute, and many more. “Warped Tour is just a legacy,” Makari’s drummer Kevin told us , “playing Warped Tour itself is an honor, but playing Ernie Ball, it was great to win a contest where people voted for you, and then you get to play for them.”
Their latest album “See Dreams” starts off with the song “Olas”, and a riffy little intro and melody reminiscent of At The Drive In, or The Mars Volta. This song sets the standard for the entire album, with a lot of countermelodies and different variations of the chorus being explored throughout the song.
The next song “Swallowing Sleep” is the longest on the album at exactly four minutes, and one of the strongest tracks. Heading more toward the sound of bands like Circa Survive with this track, there are a lot of subtle harmonies and spacious guitar leads. The lyrical content has a lot of imagery that draws you into the story being told by the singer. Right around the 3-minute point there’s a nice key change that stays in effect for the remainder of the song while some of the subtle harmonies fade into silence.
“Keeper” is rich with imagery of the sea and sky, and a musical blend of the slightly different styles of the last two songs. Some parts remind me of The Mars Volta, while others remind me of Circa Survive. It’s a blend I never thought I would hear, but certainly never would have objected to if someone told me about it. Makari has a great mix of progressive rock styles that lend to their own unique sound.
The last two songs on the 5-song EP make sure that the album stays strong the whole way through. “Ten Million Different Colors” is a just a little bit mellower and ambient to slow things down before “Sky Splitter”, which moves nicely through a number of different patterns, each verse sounding like it could build off into a new song, even though somehow they all work together perfectly along with lyrics about sleep and dreaming, skies and seeing, to make an epic finale for the appropriately named “See Dreams”.
We asked Makari’s members a few questions after their show at BackBooth in Orlando on August 23rd. According to singer Brandon, the word Makari is an archaic Scottish term meaning “poet”, which certainly makes sense once you hear some of his lyrics. The band’s drummer Kevin explained the album’s title, pointing out the pun of “See Dreams” also sounding like “Sea Dreams”, and how the content and clarity of one’s dreams can ebb and flow like the tides.
The album artwork was made by Makari’s singer Brandon, who explained “We were trying to create a blank canvas for the listener to almost envision their own album artwork. There’s a color for each track, and that’s really all it represents because I want them to see that, and create the colors themselves.”
Check out this video of their song “Keeper” from their new album “See Dreams”, from their show at BackBooth in Orlando.