As visceral an album an artist can make without actually spilling their guts directly onto the recording console, Snake In The Radio is rife with mossy ballads and interstate rockers crackling like unrequited CB transmissions. This debut solo CD is just as weird and beautiful and poetic and magical as a midget in a David Lynch film.
Snake In The Radio sees Mark reunite with longtime ally and legendary producer Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Low, Posies, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees). Undeniably charming and melodically infectious, Mark's earthy voice and singular phrasing and lyrics embody a sheen style not unlike Magnetic Fields, Ennio Morricone, Lee Hazlewood and Nick Cave getting together to drink moose blood and play four-handed Texas Hold 'Em in their leaky cabin in the forest primeval. And you better believe they are playing for keeps...
With a voice that'll set the hairs on the back of your neck to attention, Mark has crafted a spooky and alluring musical love letter that haunts the uncomfortable divide between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
"Stand[s] musically somewhere between Nick Cave and Calexico... the album takes on the aura of a David Lynch flick situated in the middle of a West Texas dance hall. [It} approaches a condition of Old Testament-style gloom and doom." Brian Barr, Harp Magazine
"Pickerel's masterpiece of noir always seems to be speeding towards some fatalistic finale--the lover's car outside a dirtbag motel, the hitchhiker, cold vinyl seats, the pretty girl with an unraveling past. Ultimately, Lee Hazlewood and Ennio Morricone share a drink at some watering hole in the desert, and the emotional nomads just keep drifting." Charles Spano, Status Magazine
"Sing[s] with the gloomy conviction of a man holding a bottle in one hand and pistol in the other." Bob Mehr, Mojo
"...a supernatural stew... his edgy phrasing brings to mind a more dissolute Chris Isaak, or a more tuneful Nick Cave. On the rockers, he purrs like a leopard about to pounce, sounding playful and vaguely lethal at the same time." J Poet, Phoenix New Times
"On a sub-scale of male vocalists ranging from Chris Isaak to Tom Waits, Pickerel stands just left of center, shoulder to shoulder with Lux Interior. From the first notes through the final fadeout, he exhibits an astonishing ability to sound blithely matter-of-fact, yet at the same time heart-wrenchingly sad." Gregory Nicoll, Stomp and Stammer