Benton Falls

Ashes And Lies

Written by: DR on 09/02/2011 18:24:34

It has been over seven years since Benton Falls last released anything new, and that was "Guilt Beats Hate" back in 2003, their second album. Since then, nothing, except for a vinyl re-issue of their debut "Fighting Starlight". It's not much, but it must have ignited some hope in the hearts of Falls fans that maybe they'd have something new in store soon. Now they do. Well, technically it's not new per-se, because "Ashes And Lies" is five previously unreleased tracks and a cover of "Angel On Hiatus" by label-mates Clair De Lune, but the die-hard fans probably won't care.

Benton Falls are rooted in the emo/indie scene, inspired by the likes of Mineral and Sunny Day Real Estate and maybe a dash of The Cure thrown in too; the mathy guitars weave patterns on top, below, around and in and out of each other - the musicianship is obviously more about intimacy than 'intimidatecy' [not a real word]. What may throw you is how the vocals, at first, don't seem to fit in with the sound. We're so used to that style of instrumentation being accompanied with 'emo' vocals, but vocalist Michael Richardson would seemingly sound more at home in an alternative rock band.

Because the vocals don't sound so emotionally direct, slower numbers like "Hold Out" ultimately suffer. And while this release shows that Benton Falls clearly know how to write a decent song, with efforts such as "Tell Him" and "Occupied For Now", which build up to a pacier chorus section, becoming more rewarding over repeated listens, one can't help but feel "Ashes And Lies" sounds like nothing more than what it essentially is: a collection of songs that weren't quite good enough to make the final cut. One strictly for the fans.

Download: Tell Him, Occupied For Now
For The Fans of: Sunny Day Real Estate, The Cure, The Get Up Kids
Listen: Deep Elm Page

Release Date 22.12.2010
Deep Elm Records

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