Guitar Player Magazine

Dark Brain Reviews:
Many instrumental guitar CDs are tough to listen to all the way through. This is not the case with Mark Stanley's Dark Brain. It is the perfect blend of fusion, jazz, spacey, and prog that never gets tired. I am a fan of McLaughlin, Holdsworth, Landau, etc...but this is the best instrumental guitar CD I have heard in years. I've been a fan of Mark Stanley's music for years. He is so talented that he can create music that fits into any genre, and has been for years. (He's been under the radar for too long.) This is his most focused and accessible instrumental project and more people need to hear it. So pick up a copy, you will not be disappointed. It will immediately grow on you and demand to be listened to repeatedly. And thank you to Mark Stanley for giving us this brilliant recording. Oh, did I mention Oz Noy is a guest on Dark Brain.


Vintage Guitar Magazine
Maryland’s Stanley unveils a fusion opus. A chill-axing stoner record packed with jazz, psyche- delia, and prog, Stanley leads an ensemble of talented musicians that include Jean Paul Gaster, Scott Ambush, Mark Smoot, and guest Oz Noy. Stanley’s facile jazz guitar soars over a harmonic playground of funky grooves and trippy landscapes. ’ OJ


Abstract Logix review of Farquhar's Meadow Full of Serpents
Insane, prog, sci-fi, masterpiece... Guitarist Mark Stanley has worked as a studio and touring guitarist with Chainsaw Jazz, Love and Rockets, Clutch, and Andy Partridge. He also helms the Mark Stanley Band, which showcases his imposing chops and technical mastery of a multitude of musical styles. Stanley has also released a Zappa-esque guitar/fusion disc entitled "Insect Warriors" which features the drumming talents of Dennis Chambers (Parliament/Funkadelic, Bill Evans, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Andy Summers), and Pat Metheny's bassist Mark Egan. Bassist Mark Smoot founded the band Chainsaw Jazz, has toured and recorded with the members of 5uu's, However, and Cartoon, and co-writes and produces the music and recordings of Farquhar. Smoot has also played in the Richmond, VA based band Clockhammer, which featured the highly combustible drumming of Chris Gallo, who has played with bands such as Mao Tse Helen, and Broken Hips. Although the band members did not know each other when they attended Farquhar Middle School in Maryland, they joined forces in the mid-90s and began playing and recording together as Jaws Of Life. They soon concocted a unique stew of irresistible hard rock and infectious vocal melodies stretched over a complex structure of oddball rhythms and twisted musical arrangements. Around 2000 the trio recast itself as FARQUHAR, which is not only a bold extension of the style of their previous band, but a brand new musical entity that is extremely hard to define. Blending elements of jazz improv, classic prog, pop, techno, avant/noise absurdity, and flat-out hard rock with a sense of humor, FARQUHAR will call to mind any number of bands upon hearing one of their tightly-wound compositions. They have been compared to artists and bands as diverse as Frank Zappa, Yes, Utopia, King Crimson, Mr. Bungle, The Residents, Echolyn, Mike Kenneally, and the Beatles, to name just a few. The truth is that Farquhar sounds like......FARQUHAR.


Reviews of Farquhar's debut recording
This album is incredible. The production is top notch. The musicality is unparalled, especially in this age of bands that cant play more that three chords. You can hear lots of diverse influences: Zappa, The Residents, Steely Dan, Devo, Allan Holdsworth, The Pixies, The Beatles, Bowie, even James Taylor. The complexity of the music might go over most close-minded heads, but if you miss the experimentation that artists used to be free to express, you will love this record. Only an Indie can put out music this original these days so you really should support the cause and buy this mindblowing CD


Chops and boundless creativity meet Beatle-like harmonies in an insane asylum. They throw more ideas at you in one song than most bands do in a whole disc and it all makes sense. Check them out at mp3.com then buy this disc. Your ears will thank you.


This band is a combination between XTC styled pop, arty progressive rock (Thinking Plague) and thrash punk. They jump in and out of styles very fluidly while never abandoning catchy melodies and clever songwriting. This cd is pure fun that stayed in my car cd player for a couple months. Another is out soon. Faraquet is a similar band.

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