[sic] Magazine

Benjamin Shaw – I Got The Pox, The Pox Is What I Got EP

EP doesn’t really do this justice so I’ll call it mini album. The second release on Audio Anti-Hero is a low-key gem which defies easy description. If I say ‘singer-songwriter’ I might be accurate but I’d conjure entirely the wrong idea. After a little intro piece the first track starts properly and on a surface inspection it is an augmented acoustic strum of the kind easily described as, yep, ‘singer-songwriter’. However the maudlin nature of the lyric puts it in rather more refined company than most of that ilk. The ‘old Joanna’ accompanies the, at first, paranoid whimsy of ‘12,000 Sentinels’ – although again the lyric keeps enough in the real world to make you think it’s all too relevant. The treatment of the instruments on several of these tracks reminds me of things on Robert Fripp albums (though don’t think this is remotely prog) – it really has a beautifully realised sound that I imagine is very difficult to capture live. It’s this overall skill with sound that makes it consistently interesting (and deflects the sometimes – deliberately – drab vocals) like a busking Brian Wilson. The vocals are like a Chris Sievey that decided chronic melancholy was more attractive than sticking a paper mache head on. The self deprecation can gall slightly, as on more uptempo When I Fell Over In The City, but that is followed by the marvellous title track – something Vic Chestnutt could have created and a transcendent conclusion to this simply but perfectly packaged find. I Got The Pox is deceptively gentle in its Kafkaesque self loathing and has the albums best lyrics (favourite -“Saturday morn comes one week too late…”) It finally ebbs out for over a minute before a vocal conclusion comes in, somehow uplifting in its over the top misery, before finally dropping off the twig at nearly 10 minutes.



the first release was the long lost Nosferatu D2 album, which I only hold off reviewing as I already covered Superman Revenge Squad, the current alter-ego of half of ND2 and I’d cover too much similar ground. I heartily suggest you search that out though.

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