Tuesday, April 12, 2011
We are Ben Franklin on Killing Horse Records
Billy sent over this single from a new label out of NJ from his band, We are Ben Franklin a four piece from Brooklyn, that hangs out together in the kitchen, making breakfast, and takes walks in the snow. I like that alien invasion cover, I think that's a Louise Bourgeois spider thing, I don't remember them being on top of a building...
'Urgency', from the A-Side has a bassline kick start the uptempo of this jagged jangly squeaky clean pop. A heavy psyche-y echoed guitar solo takes this to the verse, where they take full advantage of all the members harmonics with a back and forth echo of the lyrics at the chorus. I think he's trying to make a move on someone special, I keep catching '...you're sister's gone' and imagining the rest. Someone has some impressive guitar chops taking every opportunity to drill all kinds of fingerwork home. They further impress the literal urgency of the track in mixing up vocals all over each other before it breaks down showcasing their vocal talents.
You can check out the B Side track 'Teamwork' from their website. Here comes the guitar again to tear into some muted distortion strumming and blues lines.
This is a pop-anthemic, anti-war song, that almost sounds like it's from the point of view of a muslim terrorist? Maybe I'm completely misinterpreting here, but the initial talk about Mercedes Benz's and paying hospital bills along with this line, 'Tonight you''ll hit the synagogue / you'll die a valued martyr / you're gonna show the world / who's laughing harder' makes me think at the very least there's some kind of terrorism happening, maybe faction unspecific.
After catching Religulous the other day though, I'd be a little worried about performing this anywhere near Denmark. It nears that epic feel of the Desaparaceidos at moments. The combination of this weighted content and rocking the hell out. 'That's fucking teamwork!' You'd catch yourself thinking twice about fistpumping or singing along to this. I have to say it's a pretty provocative song to be promoting off the single, but I can respect not playing it safe, rock should be used to turn some heads after all, question authority...Fox News, CNN isn't gong to do it.
Finally, 'Smile' winds things down with some shimmery chorus guitar, and he's curiously missing a girl on this track. This is the makeup ballad, sewing it up with a sort of Pogues bar singalong chorus, of a hundred voices. Then they turn it around saying they'll sing for anyone but you. I guess they aren't planning on making up after all... it's bitter, but the track again doesn't reflect any sort of angst. They're pulling in the listener with this promise of catchy rock and then flipping the script lyrically.
These guys have been playing locally as of late and are hitting Matchless on the 29th.
Get this one from Killing Horse Records, or at the show.