EJ Mann – It’s Automatic
When Noel Gallagher and his cohorts of Beatles-admiring contemporaries started generating U.K. hits, the world greeted them with open arms and considerable plaudits. They were clever young men and women, finely attuned to the rhythm of the modern world, writing ageless rock songs. Many of them were certainly great and deserve a fair bit of reverence still. But, as for the elegant ageing process of all Brit-pop, well, suffice to say that some of their work is nowadays more akin to warm piss than fine wine. We can’t all be Lee Mavers, m’kay?
But, what about the ones that could really craft a tune? Well, most of them are still doing that and have kept their wits about themselves even if the world’s reception has cooled off. EJ Mann, a veteran of the U.K. rock scene, is such a fellow.
It’s automatic does not sound like the work of a teenager. But, what it lacks in enthusiastic naivety, it makes up in craft. The song sways effortlessly between parts. The dynamics build up towards a towering chorus. And, EJ Mann’s raspy vocals land elegantly onto the recording. Good stuff from a rock n’ roll survivor.
Ben Fried – Too Late
I love the original rock n’ rollers like Chuck Berry. Well, just about everyone does. In fact, if you hear a modern rocker who is criticizing early 50’s music, you should not trust them with anything.
There’s a myth hovering around people like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, or Jerry Lewis. Their music has been associated, through the media, for so long with a more simple and honest time in American life, that it makes their work seem pleasant and harmless. That’s one way of looking at it, but truthful biographies of those men’s lives are anything but that. They pulled guns on people, went to jail, became preachers, and along the way created some truly effervescent tunes.
Ben Fried has soaked up those influences and is ready to deliver an effortless slab of country-rock. “Too Late” rings true like a road-worn highway companion cassette, and tastes as pure as apple pie.
Knowing what we do about the rock performers we previously mentioned in the article, we bet there’s more about Ben Fried than simple tales of country living. “Too Late” is a nice tune, that makes us wonder what goes on once the amps are all turned off. For now, we’ll settle for that country shuffle feel.