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Easy to listen, “Hard to Sell”

Mac Saturn’s debut album hits streaming platforms.
“Hard to Sell” (2024) album cover.
Mac Saturn
“Hard to Sell” (2024) album cover.

Incorporating Motown with a glittery rock and roll overtone, all while maintaining catchy rhythm and lyrics, Detroit-native rock band Mac Saturn released their debut album “Hard to Sell” on Jan. 26.  

The band members have all grown up with a musical background, regardless of starting separately or in pairs. Angelo Coppola (drums), Nick Barone (guitar), Ian Lukas (bass) Carson Macc (lead vocals), former member Evan Mercer (keys), and Mike Moody (lead guitar) come together to produce energetic and groovy tracks.

Following the releases of the prior singles since 2020, “Hard to Sell” also includes three never-before-heard tracks, making a grand total of 13 tracks for their debut record. Additionally, “Hard to Sell” includes three live tracks, namely “Diamonds (Live),” “Ain’t Like You (Live),” and “Boxcutter (Live),” located at the end of the album.

Starting as the record’s first impression, “Mint Julep” incorporates elements that speak to the soul, igniting the revival of classic rock-n-roll, evident through Barone and Moody’s dexterous riffage. 

The talent of each unveils itself further with “Young in Paradise,” bright and pop-y that relies on contrasts between the different instrumental aspects. With the uplifting percussion and the wind instruments that stand prominently in the chorus, “Young in Paradise” displays all the aspects of the fun of being young. 

As the most recent single that fans received before the album, “Sleep” incorporates one of the best bass riffs on the album – Lukas drives the track home with the walking bass line that supports the precise, sharp guitar chords and trombone.  

“Ain’t Like You” first made its appearance alongside “Mr. Cadillac,” “Plain Clothes Gentlemen,” and “Diamonds” studio version (tracks that would reappear later in “Hard to Sell”) on Mac Saturn’s EP “Until The Money Runs Out” (2022). 

“Junkie” utilizes a sharp, repetitive single riff in the beginning only to then be succeeded by the colorful eruption of Mac Saturn’s musical talents. The whistle solo only adds a flare of surprising elements that have been used throughout the album thus far.  

Marking the halfway point of the album, “Mr. Cadillac” keeps up the energy that has been employed throughout “Hard to Sell.” “Mr. Cadillac” is also Mac Saturn’s top streaming song on Spotify – and for good reason! Obtaining 4,125,783 plays since its release in 2022, “Mr. Cadillac” is one of the best earworms. Each listen is a new opportunity to pick up on a new aspect such as the harmonious backing vocals, the added transcendental aspect of Mercer’s keyboard abilities, or the subtle, yet precise hits on the drums. 

Striking the soul’s more emotional side, “Let It Slide” transcribes further into the Motown side of “Hard to Sell,” with its steady drum tempo, bright embellishments, trombone, and Macc’s sophisticated melodies.   

With a title as intriguing as “Boxcutter,” Macc delves into the lyric “Until the money runs out,” directly referencing their debut EP. The eighth track, “Boxcutter” has the most masterful harmonies heard yet on the album. Along with the impeccable vocal mix and the intention exerted within each section, Coppola exceeds all expectations behind the kit on this song.

“Get On The Phone” is easily the sultriest track on the album. Between the driving bass, Macc and the accompanying members’ sliding vocals of Macc and the accompanying members, the guitar honing in on the more muted and disconnected effects in the chorus, or the bridge’s catchy phone number recitation (313)241-8349, “Get On The Phone” closes out on a brighter percussion note, contrasting the heavier beginning. 

Following the previous track’s heaviness, “Plain Clothes Gentlemen” takes the album back into a mellow state that was established with “Boxcutter.” “Plain Clothes Gentlemen” easily captures the listener’s attention with the progression from the dulcet first verse and chorus, to incorporating more layers and sound in the later verses and choruses. For the outro, the track transitions back into the mellifluous aspects that were heard in the beginning and brings the studio section of the album to a brilliant conclusion. 

The album is as exhilarating as Mac Saturn’s flamboyant stage presence, where all members of the band can be seen vibing throughout the set, moving about the stage as if they own it. In 2023, Mac Saturn was seen sharing the stage with fellow rock bands Dirty Honey and The Struts, who have also been making a name for themselves in the music industry. 

“Hard to Sell,” will mark their first headline tour, to which they creatively dubbed the “Hard to Sell” tour. Their first show is set for Jan. 26 where they will galvanize The Fillmore Detroit. The tour will subsequently conclude in Michigan on March 17, providing a bittersweet tour wrap for the band. 

Small artists and bands must be supported directly rather than strictly streaming services. “Hard to Sell” is available on CD and vinyl, for those who prefer physical playback formats. However, one thing highly recommended to stream is the music videos of some of the singles that were released in anticipation of “Hard to Sell.”

As an all-around electrifying album, “Hard to Sell” is perfect for those looking to explore up-and-coming bands. 

Mac Saturn opening for the Struts at Ace of Spades. Dec. 2, 2023.
Brianna Nusom

 

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About the Contributor
Brianna Nusom, Editor-in-Chief
Brianna Nusom, senior, is in her fourth year on the Norse Notes staff. She has been involved with Oakmont's theatre for four years- the past three she has been the sound technician for plays, musicals, choir and band concerts, and dance shows. Brianna has been a cheerleader for six years and looks forward to what the senior season will bring her. Brianna has a great passion for all things music and in her free time she enjoys composing and listening to music. Outside of school, Brianna plays many instruments ― her favorites include drums, bass, and guitar. Her essential music genres include grunge, folk, and metal, consisting of artists such as Alice In Chains, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stephen Stills, Deftones, and Greta Van Fleet.  

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