Mark Gabriel, songwriter and guitar-slinging musician with the soul of a howler and the heart of a lousy punk poet. Lead vocalist and guitar god of the local Baja California power-pop trio Alta Tension, With his unique vocal warbling reminiscent of Lou Reed or Paul Westerberg with a sprinkling of Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan and Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, Gabriel traces his professional musical adventure back to the DIY college rock days of early 1990’s at the helm of bands like, The Legendary Dirtbikers, Holy Microphone, and brit-pop darlings Knockout Pill.
After 20+ years in the indie rock scene Mark has a thing one, and maybe a thing two to share with ya’ll. Love and war and love and lost love, are just some of the treasures you’ll experience while digging into Gabriel’s menagerie of 3-minute pop gems. At times gloriously hilarious, intimately epic, and/or just plain hauntingly honest.
There’s the wonderfully mixed metaphors of a relationship gone the way of the American dream, the same way Laika met her extra-atmospheric demise in “First Dog In Space. And the lilting bitter-sweetness of “Fairy Tale Dwarves” – a failed children’s song that morphed into a lament on an ex-partner who takes her delight in stealing your heart and soul. But there’s also the life-affirming stuff – “Lovers In Black” and “And She Has Me” celebrate the jettison of lovers no longer required in search of a happier, more fulfilling life. And then there’s the one about things getting better simply called, “Things’ll get Better”, co-written by song-writing friend Fred Robinson (UIC, The Chickens).
Catch Mark Gabriel playing around Baja California, and keep an eye out for his upcoming releases in 2020. First is a self-titled EP with international recording project Cola Tails (Paul Jobin, Leah Solis, Clay Inwood, Kirk Hudson) followed by a solo album, tentatively entitled “Fuck The Troubadour”.