Cut with Junk
Album review: from Southeast Performer, Nov. 2000 all rights reserved MARK SPENCE-CUT WITH JUNK Mark Spence has a voice with the fire of a young Tom Petty and the emotion of Elvis Costello. Even some of his guitars act as if they are an homage to the span of Petty's career, most significantly, on the first two songs, 'I Hate It When You Kiss Me' and 'Go Down Easy.' This is a CD that's a carton of Luckies, McClelland's Scotch, and buddies that play, chock full of introspective, pained songwriting and steady rhythms that span from simple country to slow rock to a commercial radio aura. The entire album is a drawn-out, thoughtful 10 songs full of raw instrumentaion and scarring emotion, a very unjoyous ride through the turmoil of a man who's completely distraught. Or possibly was (and is) just now getting around to cutting an album about it. This cat has been burned. There's a very Nick Drake, Pink Moon quality to it--the type of stuff you pop in the player feelin' just fine, then when you're not even halfway through the second song, you feel like an ass. This fella portrays all the emptiness in his soul a little too well for most people to probably enjoy. The despondency level is outrageous. The recurring theme of loss, hopelessness and pain drowns the album in near unequivocal sorrow. You just want to grab the guy and say, 'For Christ's sake, get over it!' It's not a bad CD at all, but when every song is ultimately about the same thing, flavor is lost. The only real variety of the songs is the beat, a few chords, and the words that are chosen to relate the darkness. That and the pleasant touches of the harmonica and cello. All right, go easy? They guy's hurt? Obviously. The rampant somberness and dejection, though, allows us all to remember that first love gone, whose very mention makes you wince. Still, it's nice to see people can be hurt. And still nice to know that you're not alone. Artist reviews: taken from Creative Loafing, Atlanta; 1999-present -A very young but extremely talented (and almost frighteningly insightful) singer/songwriter; this up-and-coming new local star.... -When this promising local rocker goes accoustic, his music crackles with the dense, angry, incisive wordplay of 'Times They Are A-Changin'-era Dylan. -A very young Atlanta singer-songwriter whose original compositions display a startling level of maturity, complex emotion and clever wordcraft. -...teenage wunderkind singer/songwriter Mark Spence...