As a rule, the Scottish accent sounds great when sung by someone with decent vocal cords. From The Proclaimers to Biffy Clyro – bands from north of the border have been using their distinctive twang to help differentiate themselves from streams of identikit acts from England and the US for years.
Mark McCabe is certainly one of those artists, using his charming articulation to his advantage; although his talent doesn’t stop there. A Good Way To Bury Bad News, Mark’s second full-length, is an intelligent and brooding record which mixes melancholy lyrics with layers of acoustic guitar, percussion and strings.
The third track, Easy For Me To Say, is one of the stand outs. It has a real radio-friendly sound but yet manages to retain its integrity, and that sentiment holds true for the rest of the album.
This is one of those records which gets better after repeated listens – every time you go back to it you notice another clever string line or some subtle backing vocals. Despite being quite a slow record, there are still some tracks that buck the trend, namely Catch The Wind and My Disguise Is Better Than Yours. In AGWTBBN (quite the acronym), Mark McCabe has made a record which has a very specific sound without becoming boring.
The UK scene is littered with acoustic acts right now, but Mark has managed to raise the bar and make everyone else take note. It’s nothing particularly ground-breaking, but it’s honest, well-written and thought-provoking music.