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- Violent Shiver by Benjamin Booker
4/10 Mike Staff review, 08 May 2014
Here's a moderately dreadful new single on Rough Trade from young hopeful Benjamin Booker. There's names like The Gun Club and The Dirtbombs flying around in the press release which briefly got my hopes up, but sadly this has nothing of those bands' grit. On the A side is 'Violent Shiver', a clumsily delivered glam stomp with vocals from the Kings of Leon school of huskiness. There's a touch of White Stripes in there, but the White Stripes had the confident delivery and memorable hooks to get away with it.
If I thought the A side was bad, B side 'Spoon Out My Eyeballs' is really just making me want to give up. It starts mumbly, Booker whispering the vocals over barely-touched guitar strings, but then it ups the tempo into a bleak Razorlight-ish indie pop shuffle. His voice is weird on this one, like he's not sure whether he wants to imitate Tom Waits or Amy Winehouse.
It finally picks up into a nasty Meat Puppets-ish bit of country punk at the end, to my relief, only to fade out almost instantly! On the plus side, though, the lad's only 22 so he's plenty of time to improve.
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