After a bloody battle over label rights The Bens first EP is now available in the United States. The Bens include such Bens as Ben Folds, Ben Lee, and Ben Kweller. The only bad thing about this disk is that it is only four tracks. Imagine a combination of Fold's "Rockin the Suburbs", Lee's "Breathing Tornados" and Kweller's "Sha Sha" and you begin to understand what this EP is all about. The Bens did all the writing, playing, and producing on the album, including Folds on drums. The first track and single "Just Pretend" features everyone singing a verse and great 3 part harmony on the chorus. The second song "Xfire" sounds like a strange new wave track complete with talking synths, different but far from bad.
The next track, "Stop!", is also a good song keeping with the synth aproach but adding more guitars and real drums. Nice vocals as well. It is almost along the same lines of what Pete Yorn did on his first album or the punkishness of some alt.country. The last track, "Bruised", features Folds on lead vocals and is a nice end to a short set of fine songs. If you like any of the collaborators the chances are really good this disc is for you. We just need to keep hoping for a joint tour. I wouldn't get your hopes up though. Until next time come visit me In The Congo. B