Ben Gel's new take on punk's old traditions
Is That Sarcasm You Taste On My Breath? - Ben Gel (Self-released)
Ben Gel's bands have a habit of punching the listener in the face numerous times before taking a shit on your dick. There's bags of intensity here, layered within this huge, battering rock'n'roll assault.
My last two reviews of Ben Gel for this site have been enthusiastic to say the least, and I'm afraid this review is no different. You need Ben Gel in your collection.
The last time I told you about Ben Gel, I commented that “there are a lot of notable underground rockers here in Adelaide who really should be household names - and Ben Gel is one ... Truth is this is another raucous, hammering EP which launches itself at your facemask and stuffs its virus down your gullet and drags you off to the racetrack.”
In the first place, as soon as you play this EP, you'll not want to take it off. There's an interview with the great man here, so you'll want to take the six-track EP ("Anarchy in 2020") and burn this to CD with it. Another cracking album, and one which is damn hard to write about when the thing's playing. Cannot concentrate. Must dance.
To judge on the familiarity of titles alone is to completely miss the point. Every track has a well-worked-out rhythm structure, often with stop-start stop-starts just to keep you guessing, with short, acrid lead breaks which often soar upwards only to dart back down and around. "Bleed It", for example, belongs on every classic punk compilation, old or new.
Hell, these are songs you will want to sing along to. And check out the rhythm section break on "Always the Same".
Somewhere between Thin Lizzy and commercial pop circa 1979, 'Tricks on Hindley" - for a long time Hindley Street was what passed for Adelaide's Reeperbahn (minus the posing couches), and it was not uncommon to discover the girl you fancied was doing a little moonlighting for smack. And yes, I know it's a same-shit-different-day tale which innumerable Eastern states inhabitants could tell, but it's still a sad and ugly thing. But people make decisions, perhaps thinking the damage will either be temporary or not really happen to them. I won't quote from the lyrics 'cos I'll list the lot.
"You Broke My Heart" ... no, I've run out of words. You're on your own.
If there's a flaw - there isn't one but I'm a reviewer and I'm supposed to say there is, just for the look of things - it's that there's no lyric sheet. Meanwhile, get yer bopping and thrashing shoes on. Ben Gel is seriously under-rated, and what the hell he's doing here I have no idea. When the pandemic is finally absorbed, Ben Gel should take his band to your town and make you weep, dance and wrench your old ligger back.
You still here? Idiot.
Get the downloads here.
You're gonna get drunk while you play this LOUD and lurch around the room mumbling nonsense.