Backstreet Ballads and Assorted Wrecks: Part Two
You only need to meet York-based singer-songwriter Mark Wynn once to know what a fan he is of Townes Van Zandt, and listening to this new album that admiration is evident. It’s an album of ramblings (self confessed) and probably isn’t going to be played at too many weddings. That’s not to say it isn’t good, you just need to be in the mood for songs that are mournful with little cheer.
All 10 songs on the album are written by Wynn, who also provides most of what accompaniment there is. The songs are, as he says on the sleeve, “Pictures and words. Music and rambling. Bullshit and nonsense. Lies and out-of-tune piano. Lick and spittle, half formed truths and limited drumming.” Wynn likes to keep his music pretty sparse, if for no other reason than because he says messing around in a studio for weeks would bore him senseless.
All in all it’s a perfectly decent album, but all of the songs sound a little too similar, with each mournful song leading into another one which sounds almost the same but with different lyrics. Still, there is enough in the album to hope that there is much better to come, perhaps when Wynn starts to have more self-belief. As Wynn himself says, ‘It’s cheap and it grins like a bitch’.
Mark Wynn is touring the UK throughout the spring. Hopefully he will have overcome the stage fright that was visible at recent shows and will be able to live up to his potential.