Benjamin Lee Farley – Let Me Live In Your House
Genre: Lo-fi Rock, Garage Rock, Alternative Rock
Every new album by a rock band promises a return to form through the use of muscle over brains. It hardly matters if it’s U2, The Rolling Stones, or The 1975. Each of them like to tell their audiences that this time will be different. This time, they’ll really rock out and see where it takes them. They’ll be ready to take their fans on this magical ride, too.
Most of the time, they disappoint. But it’s not because they don’t know how to play. It’s because they think too much of what they ought to play. Folks like Benjamin Lee Farley are rare. They don’t need anyone to hold a map in front of them. They come charging out without care for their safety or that of others. They’re not fishing for hits but for something truthful.
Benjamin Lee Farley’s “Let Me Live In Your House” sounds both unprofessional and driven by great knowledge of what works and what doesn’t in a pop song. Like Daniel Johnston or Half Japanse, there is an innocence to the music here that carries over even when Farley is screaming at the top of his lungs. Most importantly, and best of all, there’s the feeling that what is happening here can’t be taught or repeated, making this quite special indeed.
James Strange – Under the Station
Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Garage Rock, Alternative Rock
Rock n’ roll has cleaned up a lot over the last few decades and this has had an adverse effect on the music. There are few eccentrics left when once the only people who joined a rock band were criminals, drug addicts and folks who enjoyed dressing up in eccentric attire. James Strange is looking to drag things back to the basement where it all started.
Of course, this terrible deficit of interesting characters has kept writers in business. As we speak, hundreds of fingers are feverishly typing out make-believe stories about the world’s biggest pop stars. What’s the goal? Why give them a personality, of course, and make their listeners believe that these artists’ music is the result of intense experiences, not manoeuvring of musical formulas?
James Strange’s “Under the Station” isn’t meant so much to entertain you as to make you remember just how dangerous rock n’ roll must have once seemed. Strange goes for songwriting describing the grime and excitement of everyday life with lyrics that recall the dawn of punk-rock and a groove that brings to mind The Stones. It’s the kind of material that Izzy Stradlin might hear, smile, and use to juggle his memory to the good ol’ days.