The Mark of Cain is a hard rock/alternative metal band from Adelaide, South Australia. Their style has been likened to that of Helmet and Rollins Band, yet this band predates both of those groups and was influenced by the early work of Joy Division and US hardcore. The Mark of Cain was formed in 1984 by brothers John (guitar) and Kim Scott (bass guitar), with Rod Archer on vocals and Roger Crisp playing drums. Before long, Archer had left the group and John Scott took on the vocal role; The Mark of Cain has remained a trio ever since. The Scotts have been the core of the band which has featured some 15 different drummers. Currently, that position is held by former Helmet member John Stanier, who is also concurrently with Tomahawk and Battles.
The band's first release was a single, "The Lords of Summer" issued by Sydney label Phantom Records in 1988. Following this, The Mark of Cain's drummer situation became reasonably stable for some time with the addition of Campbell Robinson and the band issued two albums on Adelaide label Dominator Records, Battlesick in 1989 and The Unclaimed Prize in 1991. The band's music came to the attention of Steve Albini, who produced their next release, the 1993 EP "Incoming". This was the recording debut for Robinson's replacement Aaron Hewson, who had joined the band shortly after the release of The Unclaimed Prize.
Albini's involvement with The Mark of Cain in turn led to Henry Rollins producing the band's breakthrough album, 1995's Ill at Ease. The first release on Sydney alternative label rooArt, Ill at Ease was the also the first to win wide radio support, with Triple J giving the singles "First Time" and "LMA" solid airplay. A national tour followed, after which Hewitt left and Campbell Robinson returned. The next year, The Mark of Cain released Rock And Roll, a collection of remixes by artists such as Paul Mac and B(if)tek. The band also contributed some songs to the soundtrack of the Australian film Idiot Box including a cover of "Degenerate Boy" by early Australian punk band X. This was a minor hit. Robinson was replaced by Stuart Baguley in late 1998 but Stanier was mooted as a member from mid-1999. He was taken on to provide the drumming on the next album This is This which was produced by Andy Gill of Gang of Four, one of The Mark of Cain's early influences. This is This was released by BMG in 2001 with the announcement that Stainer was now the band's permanent drummer.
According to their official website, The Mark of Cain commenced recording in February 2008 at Broadcast Studios (Adelaide, Australia) with John Stanier forming material for a new album set to be released in 2011. Mixing of the new album commenced in December 2010 in Melbourne Australia with Forrester Savell.
- John Scott - guitar, vocals
- Kim Scott - bass
- John Stanier - drums
- Rod Archer - vocals
- Roger Crisp - drums
- Battlesick - (1989)
- The Unclaimed Prize - (1990)
- Ill At Ease - (1995)
- This Is This... - (2001)
- Songs of the Third and Fifth - (2012)