by Lex Marburger
I knew a band like this was out there somewhere. Melodic, noisy, and emotional, all at the same time – Red Bennies have got their shit together. But not too much, so you get the feeling it’s all gonna fall apart at any moment. Being from Utah, you know these guys are just unloading a lifetime of repression. The music on Announcing splatters from the speakers, getting stuck in the carpet like used chewing gum. There’s a healthy amount of sloppiness and dirt in here, the two guitarists fighting for dominance as far as the key is concerned (or sometimes, even duking it out to see which one is actually in tune). Meanwhile, the bass and drums link up, creating huge grooves that barrel on relentlessly, all sharp corners and lopsided wheels. But somewhere in there you can hear actual songs cuz they know how to write them. The Bennies aren’t just a bunch of talentless noisemakers jumping around and turning up their amps to cover their ineptitude. No, they’re extremely talented noisemakers, and they know what they’re doing, adding hooks and riffs in just the right place, stringing you along before slapping you in the face with feedback the size of a sturgeon (ever see a sturgeon? They’re big). At the same time, it’s not just intellectual tweakers going through noisy motions. There’s a depth of emotion on Announcing. If not as profound as Descartes, it’s at least a tad more relevant. In a poorly-constructed metaphor, shove SLC Punk through early ’80s AmRep, dredge lightly in NYC noise, add a pinch of Red Krayola, and bake. End result is messy, flavorful, and tends to stain clothing.
(1501 Powell Ste H, Emeryville, CA 94608)