McCombs opens with “Dreams-Come-True-Girl,” a song about having found his perfect soul mate. Set to a subtle ’60s beat that recalls the work of Roy Orbison, the song doesn’t bubble over with the exuberance you’d expect from such a situation.

McCombs is adept at using nuance to convey his emotions, and the technique stands as appealing throughout all of Catacombs. A slow drum beat and a bit of weepy steel guitar accent McCombs’ understated singing and guitar playing on “You Saved My Life;” only a brief and purposely exaggerated cracking of his voice indicates that the singer is actually awestruck by what he’s saying.

McCombs is clearly not going for radio airplay here; this very gifted wordsmith intends for this music to be experienced on a more intimate level.

Grade: A



Catacombs is currently available.