Mark Sinnis – The Undertaker In My Rearview Mirror

Filed under: Goth Stuff,Recorded Music,Reviews — doktorjohn August 24, 2011 @ 12:02 am

The following review was published in the paper edition as well as the online edition of The Aquarian

Mark Sinnis – The Undertaker In My Rearview Mirror

Frontman for Cemetery & Western band Ninth House, Mark Sinnis has released a new album that contains some updated, acoustic and mellow versions of previously recorded Ninth House favorites, countrified even further with honkey tonk piano and acoustic and slide guitars. Sinnis continues expounding obsession with the many ways that the concept of death informs and shapes our viewpoints and our lives.

The title track is new, melodious narrative, partly spoken, partly sung in old-school country style, relates the morbid ruminations of someone who spends a lot of time behind the wheel and features a slide guitar that creates an eerie feeling to accompany his thoughts. Included are covers like “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and re-interpretations of other artists’ works as well as of his own previously recorded songs. A fabulous example is “Fifty Odd Hours,” which is a re-write of the great antique “Sixteen Tons,” a 50s classic by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Both “Death Song” —borrowed from the repertoire of Sinnis’ first band, the Apostates—- and the newly composed sequel, “Departed” are performed as duets featuring the exquisitely sweet voice of frequent collaborator Randi Russo who has the effect of emotionally charging Sinnis’s rich, deep vocals to previously unattained heights.

Sinnis never fails to bring up the traditional theme of the ill consequences as well as the consolations derived from booze, so the thirteenth track closes the album with “I’ll Have Another Drink of Whiskey,” a bar-room style sing-along.
Mark Sinnis has once again released an polished and highly listenable collection of new, old and re-interpreted folk rock featuring his polished dark baritone, fine arrangements, delicious melodies and thoughtful lyrics reflecting his profound love of American roots music.

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