|Dimensions||12.5 × .10 × 12.5 cm|
Mark Cryle writes and sings, plays the guitar and the mandolin and tries to be good. Noel Mengel of Brisbane’s Courier Mail reckons he’s one of the best songwriters in Australia. He’ll take the compliment. Some time back, he used to play in Brisbane based band Spot the Dog. That band recorded 3 successful cd’s Bedside Manners, Drunk on the Moon and Brand New Juliet and continues to perform on occasions. In 2006 Mark released Notches on the Wall, a collection of material which put him up front and solo as a singer-songwriter and allowed us to focus on these talents.
Notches on the Wall track listing: The Queen of the Great Below Man of No Good Fortune Anytime You’d Fall Ronald Ryan I’ve Got a Heart This is Christmas
REVIEW -by Ian Dearden
Mark Cryle – Notches on the Wall by Ian Dearden After the demise of Brisbane’s much loved Spot The Dog, that band’s principal songwriter, Mark Cryle has launched his solo career with this six song EP Notches On The Wall.
In addition to stepping up to the microphone to sing all the songs, Mark (who happens to be a very talented bass player in his own right) has handed upright bass duties to Michael Tully (ex-Johnson Stompers & Shebeen).
Mark has also brought in former Spot The Dog compatriots Cathy Bell (fi ddle, accordion & harmony vocals) and Richard Evans (harmonica, guitar & harmony vocals) as well as providing elegant guitar and mandolin himself. The sound is stripped back, acoustic and very tasteful, with superbly arranged vocal harmonies. Mark’s songwriting just continues to excel.
He takes a fresh look at perennial topics such as fatherhood (“Anytime You’d Fall”), Christmas (“This Is Christmas”) and (in a very modern spin) whaling (“Queen Of The Great Below”). However, he’s not afraid to tackle the hard issues, including the thorny (and topical) matter of capital punishment, in his ballad about the last man to be hanged in Australia (“Ronald Ryan”).
The final verse encapsulates Mark’s message:- “Ronald Ryan was the poor bastard son Who squeezed the trigger and pointed the gun But someone signed orders, we know these men Ronald Ryan’s not the only killer then”. Not to put too fine a point on it, capital punishment is, and remains, state sanctioned murder, and Mark forces us all to confront this diffi cult truth.
Mark is, in my humble opinion, one of Australia’s leading songwriters. He is criminally under-recognized. I am sure that this superb EP, together with the canon of his work with Spot The Dog, will continue to cement his position as one of Australia’s best and most thoughtful songwriters.
And if you happen to see Mark Cryle and his support band, The Redeemers, at a venue near you, go and see them. He is a delightful and engaging performer, not to be missed. All of this, and he still holds down a day job as a librarian.
There is hope for all of us yet!
5 in stock (can be backordered)