Mark Ayling: Memories & Ghosts

~ Monday, 14 February 2011
I've no idea if Aberdeenshire based Mark Ayling is from London but he does a pretty mean Billy Bragg impersonation with his vocals. Musically he comes from the same punk attitude as Bragg and shares many of the same influences. The guitar is not his first instrument and his skills are basic to say the least but in that simplicity he plays with a child like enthusiasm that is rather infectious and entertaining.

The 8 tracks on this mini album suffer from being badly mixed with the vocals sitting to far behind the guitar to be audible and the reverb has been turned to 11 so he sounds like he is singing in a cave. This is a pity as with intriguing song titles like
The Ballad Of Logie Buchan and Tragically Shit I want to hear the words but I can't and with no lyrics to accompany the cd I'm still in the dark. Two songs do stand out however in the shape of Warzone and 3597. Both seem to have been mixed differently and the vocals are far more audible and 3597 in particular is damn fine tune.

I do actually like this record as Ayling has an ear for a good melody and I'm a sucker for the whole DIY punk ethos behind it all but it is hard to ignore its faults. Nothing that a good producer couldn't fix though.

[][][][ (3.5/5)