Love It To Life, last April's debut from Jesse Malin and The St. Marks Social, is a record steeped in tribute. A major source of inspiration for Malin, a singer/guitarist best known for stints in now-defunct Punk bands D Generation and Heart Attack, was his rekindled love for J.D. Salinger and, by proxy, The Catcher in the Rye. In Love It's most prominent example, “The Archer” is spun off of Salinger's interest in sending love letters to females he only knew through magazines or television.
Elsewhere on the album, a sense of affection for The Clash also comes through. Intentionally or otherwise, Malin and The St. Marks Social evoke the multi-hued instrumentation of Joe Strummer and company, deftly working its way through hopeful gang chants, boisterous dance songs and chilled-out moments of introspection.
However, the record gives its greatest shout-out to Malin's birthplace, New York City, opening with “Burning the Bowery” and sprinkling it with references to the locale. While making his most recent record, Malin found himself revisiting his old haunts and soaking up his city again.
Jesse Malin & The St. Marks Social play Southgate House Tuesday with Alone at 3am and Le Whorenettes. Go here to read Reyan Ali's full Sound Advice and get show details.