A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar

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A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar
AM,AM,AB,AS2.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 12, 2003
RecordedJanuary 2003
StudioBogart Recording Studios, Miami, Florida; Laundry Room Studios
GenreEmo, alternative rock
Length50:54
LabelVagrant
ProducerGil Norton, Chris Carrabba
Dashboard Confessional chronology
MTV Unplugged 2.0
(2002)
A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar
(2003)
Dusk and Summer
(2006)
Singles from A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar
  1. "Hands Down"
    Released: August 12, 2003
  2. "Rapid Hope Loss"
    Released: May 4, 2004

A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar is the third studio album by American band Dashboard Confessional.

Background[edit]

Dashboard Confessional started as the one-man acoustic project of vocalist/guitarist Chris Carrabba. The project's second album The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most (2001),[1] released through independent label Vagrant Records,[2] featured a full band on a few of the songs.[1] The album become Vagrant's best-selling release.[2] Lead single "Screaming Infidelities" became a hit at modern rock radio stations. The So Impossible EP, made in collaboration with guitarist Dan Hoerner of Sunny Day Real Estate, was released in December.[1]

It was followed by a companion piece, the Summers Kiss EP in April 2002. Later in 2002, Dashboard Confessional taped a performance for MTV's Unplugged series, which was later released as MTV Unplugged 2.0. As Dashboard Confessional was becoming a staple at radio and on MTV, the project solidified its line-up as a group: Carrabba, bassist Scott Schoenbeck, guitarist John Lefler and drummer Mike Marsh.[1] In December, Carrabba revealed the next album's title: A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar.[3]

Production[edit]

Carrabba lived in a condo with his brother and made over 40 demos using his Korg digital 8-track recorder.[4] Musically, the demos ranged from alternative country to pop in the vein of The Beach Boys.[5] Recording for A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar took place at Bogart Recording Studios in North Miami, Florida[6] in January 2003.[7] Gil Norton produced the majority of the songs, except "Ghost of a Good Thing" and "If You Can't Leave It Be, Might as Well Make It Bleed", which were credited to Carrabba.[6] Carrabba said Norton "really understood the basic importance" of the tracks and recognised how to improve them without needing to alter them.[4]

Carrabba said the final recordings sounded exactly like the demos he made, both note-for-note and structurally, with the exception of "Ghost of a Good Thing". Norton convinced Carrabba not to re-record the track, resulting in the demo version appearing on the album.[4] Additional tracking took place at Laundry Room Studios. Norton and Adrian Bushby, who also served as engineer, mixed the album at Strongroom Studios in London, UK. Bob Ludwig mastered the recordings at Gateway Mastering.[6]

Carrabba came up with the album title while pondering on the meaning of Dashboard Confessional's name.[7] An earlier, acoustic version of "Hands Down" appeared on the So Impossible EP.[4] The song talks about being in love on the happiest day of your life.[7] "Rapid Hope Loss" was written early in the writing process,[8] and credited to Carrabba and Mike Stroud.[6] The track is about not giving a second chance to an ex-lover.[8] "Carry This Picture" was written in the Soho Grand Hotel in New York City. It talks about finding love at a resort town in Florida.[4] Carrabba considered "This Old Wound" the darkest song he's ever written, and said it was "as literal as can be. I was having a day where I was like, 'How am I ever gonna get over this stuff?'"[5]

Release[edit]

On March 25, 2003, A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar was announced for release. In May, Carrabba went on a solo tour,[9] before joining with the band for a support slot for Beck on his US tour, with dates running into June. However, they left abruptly mid-June citing "circumstances beyond our control".[10] Following this, Carrabba played a few solo shows.[11] "Hands Down" was released as a single on July 10,[12] before being released to modern rock radio five days later.[13] A music video was filmed for the track shortly afterwards in New York City with director Nzingha Stewart.[7] A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar was initially planned for release in July,[9] before eventually being released on August 19 through Vagrant Records.[14] Major label Interscope Records owned a 49% percent[5] non-controlling interest in Vagrant. Label founder Rich Egan said this was to boost their marketing, and to provide his acts "the best of what a major label can offer with none of the crap."[15] Carrabba said, who had a lot of control with his marketing, renewed his contract with Vagrant after he realised the deal with Interscope allowed him the same amount of control.[16] The UK edition of the album featured "This Old Wound" and "The End of an Anchor" as bonus tracks.[6]

Between late August and early October, the group went on a headlining US tour[11] with support from MxPx and Brand New. Remedy Session and Vendetta Red appeared on select dates.[17] "Rapid Hope Loss" was released to radio on December 9.[13] A music video was filmed for the track in January 2004 with director Brian Scott Weber. Throughout the clip, the camera zooms out to show images within images. The group picked Weber's treatment after sorting through 20 other potential ideas.[18] Between mid-May and early July 2004, the group headlinined the Honda Civic Tour, with support from Thrice[19] and The Get Up Kids.[20] On May 18, Vagrant Records released a deluxe edition, which included a DVD of the MTV2 Album Covers performance, where the band performed songs from R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People (1992).[21] Between July and September, the group played festival shows in Australia, the UK and the US.[20][22]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic77/100[23]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[24]
Blender3/5 stars[25]
Chicago Sun-Times3/4 stars[26]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[27]
The Guardian3/5 stars[28]
Houston Chronicle4/5 stars[29]
Q4/5 stars[30]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[31]
Slant Magazine3/5 stars[32]
SpinB+[33]

A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 122,000 copies in its first week.[11] It has been certified gold by RIAA, meaning it has shipped over 500,000 copies in the United States.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Chris Carrabba, except "Rapid Hope Loss" by Carrabba and Mike Stroud.[6]

  1. "Hands Down" – 3:06
  2. "Rapid Hope Loss" – 3:41
  3. "As Lovers Go" – 3:30
  4. "Carry This Picture" – 2:53
  5. "Bend and Not Break" – 5:06
  6. "Ghost of a Good Thing" – 3:45
  7. "Am I Missing" – 4:03
  8. "Morning Calls" – 4:20
  9. "Carve Your Heart Out Yourself" – 3:44
  10. "So Beautiful" – 3:27
  11. "Hey Girl" – 3:34
  12. "If You Can't Leave It Be, Might as Well Make It Bleed" – 3:38
  13. "Several Ways to Die Trying" – 6:07

UK bonus tracks

  1. "This Old Wound" – 4:02
  2. "The End of an Anchor" – 5:26

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per booklet.[6]

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
position
US Billboard 200[34] 2
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[35] 1

References[edit]

Citations

  1. ^ a b c d Leahey, Andrew. "Dashboard Confessional | Biography & History". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Archived from the original on October 21, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Sanneh, Kelefa (August 10, 2003). "MUSIC; Sweet, Sentimental and Punk". The New York Times. A.G. Sulzberger. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  3. ^ Moss, Corey (December 9, 2002). "New Dashboard Confessional Album 'More Dynamic,' Singer Says". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Pappademas 2003, p. 68
  5. ^ a b c Greenwald, Andy (March 7, 2018). "Our 2003 Dashboard Confessional Cover Story: The Crying Game". Spin. Eldridge Industries. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar (Booklet). Dashboard Confessional. Vagrant Records. 2003. 981 055-4.
  7. ^ a b c d D'Angelo, Joe (July 25, 2003). "Dashboard Confessional Singer Heals Scars, Stops Singing The Blues On New LP". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Moss, Corey (September 29, 2003). "Dashboard Wiping That Smile Off Their Face For Next Single". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "New Dashboard Confessional Album Due In July". Billboard. Lynne Segall. March 25, 2003. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  10. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (June 17, 2003). "Dashboard Confessional Bail On Beck Tour". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c D'Angelo, Joe (August 22, 2003). "Dashboard Confessional Touring Again — Just In Time". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  12. ^ "News & Updates". Dashboard Confessional. Archived from the original on 2003-12-07. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "FMQB Airplay Archive: Modern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  14. ^ "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar - Dashboard Confessional | Release Info". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  15. ^ Staff (September 22, 2002). "Feeling Lucky, Punk?". Newsweek. Dev Pragad. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  16. ^ Newman 2003, p. 15
  17. ^ "Dashboard Spy Tour On Horizon". Pollstar. June 27, 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-08-21. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  18. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (January 16, 2004). "Dashboard Confessional Get Deceptive In 'Rapid Hope Loss' Video". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  19. ^ Downey, Ryan J (March 8, 2004). "Dashboard Confessional To Spill Their Guts In A Customized Civic". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  20. ^ a b D'Angelo, Joe (July 8, 2004). "Dashboard Singer Gives Props To Higher Power For Spidey Song". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  21. ^ MTV News Staff (May 4, 2004). "For The Record: Quick News On Prince, Lil' Kim, Dashboard Confessional, Omarion, Norah Jones, Phish & More". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  22. ^ UG Team (September 7, 2004). "In Brief: Metallica, Dashboard Confessional, Avril Lavigne". Ultimate Guitar Archive. Archived from the original on July 4, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  23. ^ "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar by Dashboard Confessional". Metacritic. Archived from the original on August 15, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  24. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar – Dashboard Confessional". AllMusic. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  25. ^ Powers, Ann (August 2003). "Dashboard Confessional: A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar". Blender (18): 118. Archived from the original on August 3, 2004. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  26. ^ Vrabel, Jeff (August 17, 2003). "Dashboard Confessional, 'A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar' (Vagrant)". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on April 8, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
  27. ^ Greer, Jim (August 15, 2003). "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar". Entertainment Weekly: 77. Archived from the original on May 21, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  28. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (August 3, 2003). "Dashboard Confessional: A Mark a Mission a Brand a Scar". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 8, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  29. ^ Martinez, Rebekah (September 11, 2003). "Dashboard Confessional — 'A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar'". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  30. ^ "Dashboard Confessional: A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar". Q (206): 107. September 2003.
  31. ^ Sheffield, Rob (August 21, 2003). "Dashboard Confessional: A Mark, A Misson, A Brand, A Scar". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2009.
  32. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (August 21, 2003). "Dashboard Confessional: A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  33. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (September 2003). "Dashboard Professional". Spin. 19 (9): 107–08. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  34. ^ "Dashboard Confessional Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Dashboard Confessional Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard.

Sources