York’s Mark Wynn mixes singing/song writing with his own brand of spoken word performance to excellent effect on this superb record. The album was released by the excellent Desert Mine Music and was also produced by Sam Forrest of Nine Black Alps. James Dean… is full of short sharp bursts of energetic folk music that manages to have a punk feel to it without seeming contrived.
Introductionstarts the album off with a wall of feedback and jazz vocals before going straight into the brilliant Baby Baby which really sets the tone for the record. At times Wynn appears to be very self-deprecating, but it is this along with the great lo-fi feeling to them album that really emphasises the understated charm of it all.
Although a lot of the songs have a similar sound this is one of the things that really aids the tempo and rhythm of the record. Henry Miller Filler Song is one of the stand out tracks and is one of those that leaves you disappointed that it has to finish so soon after a brief two minutes. All the songs on James Dean… have been paired up brilliantly, I’m not sure if this was intentional but it works really well, as can be heard in the fine duo of Is This Where We Get Off and Woolies Please.
Although there is some other instrumentation and some great harmonies the best moments on the record come when Wynn is solely accompanied by his acoustic guitar. This can really be heard on the sublime Trebles For Singles which describes the tempting bar offer that we should [probably stay away from but just can’t resist. Overall James Dean… is a fantastic record which manages to not take itself too seriously which would also be a fine addition to anyone’s collection.
You can get the album here.