Friday, 23 July 2010

Mike Scott and Ben Childs Split EP

This is a record that got me truly excited both artists used to be in bands I was inspired by in my younger years (Mike sang for Phineaus Gage and Ben was one of the founding members of Sonic Boom Six) so to hear what their solo work sounded like was going to be a treat.

This excitement was not wasted as from the first few bars of  Ben’s opening track of the album you can tell you are going to be in for a treat. I was surprised to hear the large folk influence within Ben’s six tracks but it totally works the addition of violin and banjo in parts creates an authentic folk feel. This folk influence combines beautifully with elements of reggae, which mostly come through from distinctive vocals and political and personal lyrics.

This first half of the split is perfect for summer and the general cheery musical style suit Child’s voice superbly. There are moments of raw emotion, passion and completely danceable passages overall this is the perfect showcase for what this artist can and will continue to do. Each track flows faultlessly into the next making this piece of work incredible for both individual tracks and  as an entire record. 

If New-Folk is the future of alternative music expect Ben to be at the fore front of the genre as it develops. These are the first six songs to be released by Ben Childs and to be completely honest they blew me away with a mixture of surprise and pure joy. If this is to be the style that solo work keeps to I will very much look forward to hearing what’s next.

Ben’s half of the split is beautifully balanced out with the more pessimistic style of Mike Scott who presents acoustic punk rock in a passionate honest style. Mike’s snarling vocals are backed by raw acoustic guitar and occasional backing vocals. Mike’s lyrics are political throughout his six tracks, two of which are perfectly selected covers (The Connells  and Propaghandi). Mike’s observational lyrics are inspiring and depressing in equal measure, his reverse political analysis makes it impossible not to continue thinking after listening to each track.

The honesty projected through lyrics and Mikes voice create an enchanting six tracks that seem to float by in a matter of moments. The balance of songs is again near perfect showing an incredible amount of thought has gone into song selection, the track listing flows smoothly and creates a varying array of emotion throughout giving this EP a real sense of longevity.

Although Mike Scott has a completely different approach to acoustic music to that of Ban Childs this creates a split, which is a thing of beauty and wonder. The contrasted styles fit together beautifully and this record has been a regular on my CD player and Ipod in the last month or so and I can see it staying there for a long time. I can only recommend that you go and buy this record and support this countries DIY scene.     

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