Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Josh Benash - Stasis (2014)

1. And I'm Told 4:08
2. Soul Eyes 3:36
3. You Are Being Killed and We Do Not Care 0:59
4. For Two Weeks (You've Been Happy) 3:26
5. Will You Shine 3:11
6. Every Time I Close My Eyes All I Hear is Lil' Kim Screaming 0:47
 7. Your Word 3:19
8. Holy Holy Holy; Round and Round and Round 5:34

I wanted to wait and give this album another listening or two before going into *initial* detail, but what the hell, my schedule is so screwed up and unreliable with time, I'll go ahead and do it now.

This album is being released on August 12th (Facebook), but I was lucky enough to be sent a copy early to review.

Josh Benash, who is known for not only his debut LP from 2012 The Dismal; The Beautiful , but also his great current band Vuvuzela and awesome ex-band Kiss Kiss, is back again with another crazy collection of tunes.

Some of my early favorites are "And I'm Told,"  "Soul Eyes" and especially "For Two Weeks (You've Been Happy)." That track is odd with the tempo and the way Josh goes from his sort of Alfalfa-style falsetto (in a good/charming way), to his deeper contrasting vocals. But it leads to some really nice, simplistic, dreamy sections that even leave an ear-worm that if it doesn't appeal to you right away, may grow on you. And I can't help but like and relate in a lot of ways to the line "All I Want to doooooooo, is WATCH MY TV!!!"

Electronics, layers of vocal chanting, ambient textures, manipulated speeds of vocal recording, quirky, humorous twists and dynamic mood changes happen throughout this album.

There's a fair amount of dreamy, almost hypnotic moments. There's also a bit of acoustic sections, even what may be harp which I probably think of Vuvuzela for of course.

I am getting a sense of maturity and less-is-more from this album. Although every record Josh seems to make is of the shorter length, but I guess given how much I found The Dismal; The Beautiful more hit and miss, this record seems to last almost the right length and I am getting the sense it's best heard all at once.

"Stasis" I suspect refers to being under stasis as a medical stasis. So, perhaps Josh wrote some if not all of the music here from the perspective of someone whose hospitalized or at least is more or less confined to being in one place, perhaps indefinitely. Which sounds potentially horrifying or at least sad potentially. But, with Josh's dark almost black sense of humor, it doesn't come across so bleak.

It's odd how with each thing Josh does, he seems to do new different things, yet still remind you its him.

This album is about 1/3 more straight forward songs, and maybe 1/3 more slow tempo, atmospheric mood pieces and 1/3 of his odd quirky numbers. But it still is rather cohesive.

I would say it's only issue could be it leaves me wanting more or even just rather curious what may come in the future from Josh. He has consistently impressed me, which is why I still regard him as one of my favorite songwriters actively writing and making music currently.