Mark Slaughter – ‘Halfway There’


THE BAND:
Mark Slaughter – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, orchestration
Josh Eagan – Drums
Jaymi “Pink Bassman” Millard – bass (tracks 2,3,6,7,8,10)
Bill Jordan – piano on “Halfway There”

 

 

TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.)” Hey You” -This intro opens with a studio effect.  This studio effect came through the right speaker and out the left.  The musical intro opens with a tom-tom/floor tom drum fill.  After the drum fill a rhythm guitar arrangement kicks-in.  Underneath the guitar arrangement Josh plays three quarter-notes on his high-hat then an eighth-note on his tom-tom.  For the second measure Mark added a couple different aspects to the arrangement.  The first thing Mark added was one vocal accent and two lyrics.  The two lyrics are “hey you”.  Then over the top of then over the top of his rhythm guitar he overdubbed a few lead guitar licks.  The next measure consisted of a huge snare/tom-tom fill.  The drum fill lead to a double-bass drum pattern.  To connect the musical intro with the musical verse was a backing vocal singing, “hey”.  For the musical verse Mark changed the rhythm guitar arrangement however, Josh kept the double-bass drum pattern for the drum line.  Even with Mark’s experience as a songwriter I do not believe I have ever heard a lyrical very written such as the one for this track.  The last lyric of each lyric line ended different except the third and fourth.  The first lyric line ended with an echo, the second lyric line ended with a vocal accent attached it and then the third and fourth lyric lines ended with a small backing harmony.  After the fourth lyric line there was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus.  Mark being the experienced songwriter he is wrote a huge hook for the chorus.  The drum line of the chorus consisted of a double-bass drum line.  Not only did Josh change the drum line for the chorus.  However, Mark change the bass line and rhythm guitar arrangement also.  The chorus is repeated.  The second time through it sounded as if Mark slowed it down just a little to an almost breakdown feel.  After this chorus breakdown there was a third chorus.  It was not until after the third chorus was the actual breakdown section.  Mark played one Hell of a bass line for the musical breakdown section.  Josh played a huge drum fill to connect the musical breakdown with the lead guitar solo.  There were two vocal accents over the top of the lead guitar solo.  Over the years Mark has been around enough great guitarist to have picked up a thing here or there however, I was not expecting him to be this great of a lead guitarist!  The coda consisted of a lead vocal line.
Jaymi “Pink Bassman” Millard played bass on this track.
2.) “Devoted” - Jaymi “Pink Bassman” Millard played bass on this track.  Musically this track was utterly amazing! 
3.)” Supernatural” - Jaymi “Pink Bassman” Millard played bass on this track.  There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the rhythm guitar arrangement of this intro section.  Josh’s drum line of the intro had a syncopated.  This was due in part to the hi-hat pattern.  The hi-hat pattern consisted of a small opening and closing pattern along with several short musical-note rests.  The musical verse consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  There not only was a music arrangement change for the chorus.  However for the first measure of the chorus down then brought it back up to normal speed.                       
4.)” Halfway There” – Lyrically this track caused the memories to come rushing back!!!!

5.)” Forevermore” -This intro consisted of a minor lead guitar over the top of a rhythm guitar arrangement.  The two guitar rhythms where over the top of a hi-hat and bass drum pattern.   The minor lead guitar solo that Mark wrote for this intro used a lot of the same notes Neal Schon used for the solo he wrote on “Send Her My Love”, released in September 1983 as the fourth single from their album titled, ‘Frontiers’.  Underneath the opening lyric line of the verse Josh added a snare drum to the already hi-hat and bass drum pattern.  After the second lyric line both the rhythm and lead guitar rhythm change arrangements.  The chorus consisted of an amazingly huge hook.  There was a few “Send Her My Love” minor lead guitar notes connecting the first and second choruses.  After the second chorus there was a drum fill connecting the second chorus with the lead guitar solo.  Over the top of the first several notes of the lead guitar solo there was a couple of lyric lines.  Mark double-tracked the lead guitar solo for a twin lead guitar solo effect.  There was a couple lead vocal lines over the top of the opening of the lead guitar solo.  The end of the fourth chorus fades into the fifth chorus.  After the solo there was no verse the chorus was repeasted throughout the rest of the song.
6.)” Conspiracy” - Jaymi “Pink Bassman” Millard played bass on this track.  This intro opened with what sounds to be a small pattern played on the bell of the cymbal.  In many ways this cymbal pattern reminded me of a song played during the opening credits of a seventies police show.  Which kind of worked out because this lead to some type of siren.  As the siren faded-out the musical intro faded-in. .  Josh’s drum line of the intro consisted of a tom-tom/floor tom pattern, along with a syncopated hi-hat and snare pattern.  There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  There was a rhythm change for the musical verse.  Marks vocals for the verse had a Layne Staley (August 22, 1967 – April 5, 2002) of Alice In Chains feel to them.  The musical verse consisted of two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  There was a musical rest underneath the last two lyrics of the second lyric line.  After the fourth lyric line there was a rhythm arrangement change.  The chorus consisted of an amazing hook.  At the end of some of the lyric lines you can hear a small vocal echo.  In the middle of the chorus there was as short yet amazing bass breakdown.  After the first chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  Except for the music arrangement of the second verse the song basically repeated itself.  After the second chorus there was a majpor lead guitar solo section.
7.)” Reckless” - Jaymi “Pink Bassman” Millard played bass on this track.  The intro to this track consisted of a tom-tom pattern.  There were two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  It sounded like one of the rhythm arrangements was jumping between the left and right speaker however, it is very difficult to tell.  This intro had a very abstract feel to it.  Over the top of the intro arrangement Mark sang the lyric “reckless”.  For the musical verse Mark switched both rhythm and lead guitar arrangements.  The way the verse was arranged gave the song a very abstract feel.  For the musical chorus Josh switched from a single bass drum pattern to a double-bass drum pattern for the musical chorus.  The way Mark arranged the rhythm guitar let the double-bass drum pattern bleed through highlighting the drum line.  In the middle of the chorus there was several tom-tom fills.  After the second chorus. There was a drum and bass line breakdown.  The bass line Mark played was utterly amazing.  There were several vocal ascents over the top of the breakdown section.  This breakdown lead to a blistering lead guitar solo.    
8.)” Disposable” - Jaymi “Pink Bassman” Millard played bass on this track.  This track opens with the special effects of kids playing.  The Hammond B3 along with the effect Mark used on his vocals combined with the arrangement of this verse reminded me a lot of the songs from the late nineties.  There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus.  Underneath the music arrangement you can hear the effects of the kids playing.  After the second chorus there was a very laid-back leads guitar solo.  Some of the notes of the solo was double-tracked.  Though all in all this song had a very abstract feel to it.  I found myself having a certain fondness for the song.
Over the top of the coda there was a kids choir.
9.)” Turn It” – There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section.  It sounded as if Mark used almost the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro.  The lyric arrangement of the verse was heavily influenced by Alice Cooper.  At some point underneath the lyric lines Mark changed the rhythm guitar arrangement.  After the fourth lyric line.  The lyric arrangement alternates between lead/backing vocals up to the rhythm change of the chorus.  After the chorus there was a minor lead guitar solo to connect the first chorus with the second verse.  The major solo was after the second chorus.  After the third chorus there was a second minor lead guitar solo over the top of the coda.
10.)” Not Here” - Jaymi “Pink Bassman” Millard played bass on this track.  This was an amazing ballad.  In my mind if The Beatles were together today this would be the type of stuff they would be lyrically arranging.

    The first time I heard the name Mark Slaughter was in 1988 when I heard the song “Love Kills” by Vinnie Vincent Invasion.  The song and video were taken off of the Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master soundtrack.  Mark’s vocal range on this song completely blew me away and I became an instant fan.  After four months Mark along with bassist Dana Strum left to form the band Slaughter.  There is a funny story with Slaughter’s first video, “Up All Night” however I shall protect the guilty for now.   Slaughter released five albums and had huge success especially with the song, "Fly to the Angels".  Much like Mark with Vinnie Vincent I also became a huge fan of Slaughter. 
Mark is not only a very larger than life front man however, also a very well-established guitarist.  This was more than proven with Slaughter.  Mark adventures further into his artistic genius side, providing a thicker and more powerful flow to his sound and style.  This was an amazing release!    Essential for not only Slaughter fans however all hard rock fan in general.  An absolute must buy!!!