EP review: Home by Mark Webb

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One of the benefits of music becoming more accessible now that it’s digital is that artists can release EPs as a debut effort instead of going straight to an LP. It means they can have something out in the world that doesn’t require new listeners to commit to ten or twelve tracks when, let’s face it, there’s a lot of other music to commit to.
One of the disadvantages of music becoming more accessible is that with so much available from around the world – no longer are we restricted to what the local radio station decides to play and the record shop to stock – the discovery of new music has become harder, and that’s where websites such as this one come into play.
In the olden days I would have had no clue what was happening in music in South Carolina, USA, let alone what was happening specifically in country music. Thanks to the digital age, however, I get to find out about artists like Mark Webb, who has released a five-track EP/mini album (call it what you will) under the title Home.
Webb has a voice that is hard to resist, and he has chosen the songs on Home well. The opening track is country rock (‘Queen’) which then gives way to lovely ballads ‘Can We Make it Right’ and ‘Weak Enough’. Fourth track ‘Come Back Home’ is more upbeat in tone than the ballads but no less heartfelt. Fifth track ‘Friend of Mine’ is more sparse and reflective, meaning that Webb has neatly shown a great representative sample of what he can do and what he wants to present to audiences, lyrically and musically. He has resisted the temptation to go for pushy songs – and there is always that temptation on a debut release – trusting instead, perhaps, that his voice will lead listeners in and keep them around long enough to really listen. So while this may be his first release, it’s a mature collection, and no doubt a pointer of things to come.
Home is available via Gold Ship Records.

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