The Shining Hour Reviews & Radio/TV Broadcasts

REVIEWS If you see any others, please send them to me. Thanks.
EVIDENCE (SHR01) now available as RESOLUTION (SHR01/02)
Appeared in 'Waaaaaaaaah!' indie magazine issue 4 in November 1993
Cultured, polished and yet vibrant guitar-pop from West Sussex! The Shining Hour can hold their heads up high because they display on this debut LP a natural talent to write accomplished songs with urgency, good old fashioned clipped guitar strumming and hooks aplenty combining to create a strange but beautiful sound conjuring up images of The Farmers Boys, REM and The Beach Boys. Noble.
FIVE O'CLOCK RISE E.P. (apricot records aprivin003)
Appears on The War Against Silence Website -
I get the impression that Mark Cohen has hundreds of grand, sweet pop songs in his head, if not his basement, so the four on this Apricot single may not add much to the fifteen on Wait All Summer, but if the hand-writing is to be believed, my copy of this 800-count limited edition is number 666. The Satanic hidden message so far eludes me. 33, in a bewitching mango.
Mind The Gap mail order
Mark Cohen is the second main guy in Fragile, but Shining Hour is much more than a project - "I won't be home" has all you can achieve on 8-track which is classic Postcard guitars, beautiful synthesized strings and ace crooner vocals - three more excellent guitar-pop-songs complete this perfect Apricot release.
Parasol records (USA)
60s influenced jangle/beatbox pop tunes from Sarah/Postcard-inspired, D.I.Y., English popster.
Roundabout Mailorder
Excellent four song jangle pop ep from this UK band with guitars, strings, and crooning vocals.
British pop music with strings and in the style of the 80s. On sky-blue vinyl and in a limited edition of 800. Dreamily beautiful melodies!!!
WAIT ALL SUMMER (apricot records apricd003)
Apricot Promotional Statement
The Shining Hour is more than a project by Mark Cohen, a member of the UK band Fragile. The Shining Hour combine the tradition of c-86 wimp P!O!P! with love for classic songwriting and the fascination for 8-track recording - classic postcard guitar, crooning vocals, ace melodies, brilliants strings and superb arrangements. Songs full of longing, sensitivity and romance; music that first hits your heart and then your soul! Sophisticated, heartbreaking lyrics that fit perfectly with unpretentious melodies. Imagine the beauty and loneliness of The Smiths, the jangling guitar of The Brilliant Corners and words like in songs of Hefner. This album follows the classic 7" E.P. Five O'clock Rise which was released on Apricot Records and was sold out in weeks. Music that first hits your head and then the heart! Sophisticated, heartbreaking vocals combined with wonderful guitar melodies.
Appears on The War Against Silence Website -
The liner notes claim that Mark Cohen, whose one-man band the Shining Hour is, wrote and recorded 167 songs between 1986 and 1998, which makes it not too surprising that the fifteen chosen to represent him on this album from the German pop label Apricot spin off in a variety of directions, albeit related ones. On one song he sounds like a young Paul Weller fronting St. Christopher, and the next he could be Mark Hollis making a guest appearance with the Magnetic Fields. One sounds like a Smiths demo, the next like a Byrds/Who pastiche, the next like the Icicle Works with a head cold. A couple could be Orchids or Field Mice songs, a couple sound more like the Pet Shop Boys remixing Nick Drake. Some undulate, some sparkle. Some drift, some skitter. Cross Aztec Camera and the Housemartins, or Tobin Sprout and Orange Juice. If I move on a little too quickly, hardly giving this album a fair chance to enthrall me as thoroughly as it well might, it's just because 152 more songs like these is enough material to make Cohen into a patient, sober, sentimental Robert Pollard, and the prospect pushes me disconcertingly close to panic.
Roundabout Mailorder, USA

Classic Postcardian guitar pop album with synthesized strings and heartbreaking male vocals. Fifteen melodic and jangly delights.

Sky Blue Records, USA
Timeless and wonderful jangle pop from this Brit. band led by the incredible songwriting of Mark Cohen.
Twee Kitten Mail Order, USA
Fantastic full length filled with jangle-romance pop. Mark has a lovely voice. Highly recommended!
Bliss Aquamarine Online Fanzine, UK
The Shining Hour is Mark Cohen, who has been recording since the mid 80s. Amazingly, I've only recently discovered his music - a shame as I've probably missed out on loads of great songs. The music is excellent jangly indiepop in the mid 80s to early 90s tradition, complete with lyrics that deal with unrequited love and being misunderstood - the sort of lyrics that narrow minded people wrongly class as wimpy, but in actual fact you have to be very strong to expose your feelings so honestly.
Drowned In Sound Online Fanzine, UK
The Shining Hour are pretty nifty too, and sound like My Life Story with an enforced instrument ration. Johnny Marr guitars and Robert Smith vocals. It pulled a heartstring, if only a little one.
English bedroom songwriter - pearls between The Smiths and Nick Drake. One of the best releases on the remarkable Apricot label. I can say whoever liked the Fragile and Shining Hour 7 inch singles will not regret the purchase of this album. Wonderfully sentimental pop songs for your heart and soul. Are you ready to be heart broken?
POSTCARDS FROM HOME (apricot records apricd018)
Apricot Promotional Statement
It was the first warm day of the year; a long winter came to an end. We were happy to feel some warmth and see the first signs of Springtime. I walked down the few steps to the mailbox, joyful thoughts about a breakfast outside on the porch in my mind. When I opened the mailbox I found a postcard inside. It was from Mark; we had not seen each other in a long time and I was curious about his life and his experiences in the past year. He was writing about the wintertime in England. About days spent inside, listening to music and reading books. On the next day I was surprised to receive a postcard from Mark again; it contained a short story about a girl he had met in a small grocery-store. This went on for another 10 days; I obtained 12 postcards in total - and when I took the 12th card out of the mailbox I discovered a small parcel with a CD in it. In the accompanying letter Mark explained that he had recorded 12 songs - songs about love and loneliness, about hope and despair, about faithfulness and tears. 12 songs about his winter in Worthing, England, 12 songs so typically for The Shining Hour. P!O!P!-songs from Mark's bedroom - jangling guitars, soft vocals, tunes so soft as a piece of chocolate-cake. Mark is one of the these British songwriters being dedicated to music and music only. Think of Nick Drake, Ben Watt or Bill Pritchard. His music is strongly influenced by the spirit of c86; bands like McCarthy, The June Brides and The Railway Children will come to mind. The Shining Hour - as English as the weather. I haven't received a postcard from Mark in a while now. But I'm sure he'll write back if you send him a card. Or you'll listen to his 12 Postcards From Home.

RADIO/TV BROADCASTS If you hear any songs on your local station, I would be delighted to hear from you. Thanks.
Feels Like Forever Randomizer Show, Radio Göttingen, Germany 13.11.98
I Don't Want To Know *I PopTV Show, Tokyo, Japan 13.11.99
So Soon Radio P3, Sweden 22.02.99
So Soon KFJC 89.7 Los Altos Hills, California, USA Dec 1999/Jan 2000
Face it Now College Radio, Atlanta, Georgia, USA Dec 1999/Jan 2000