Tag Archives: Terrascope

Life in the young dogs yet

5 Jun

Amused to discover reviews of Ben and Trent stashed away at the bottom of Rumbles for May on the Terrascope website. Curious as to why they didn’t identify their record label.

“The self-titled EP offering by Benjamin Folke Thomas is a collection of six songs that for some reason reminded me of Van Morrison – perhaps the style of the singing, though Thomas’ voice is not much like Van The Man’s. ‘Rhythm & Blues’ is a great little song, with a tune, a great arrangement and much zest; presented in the ‘seventies it would have been a big hit. ‘Can’t Live That Way’ is slower and more confessional, while ‘Nothing Next To You’ is an impassioned call, with nice mandolin strumming in the background, giving it a hint of REM perhaps. ‘Hole In My Heart Blues’ brings in the lap steel guitar and is melancholy, while EP closer ‘Paradise Lost (Heaven Found)’ is essentially the man and his guitar. An enjoyable listen, this EP, with depth, great songs and top performances.”

“Label mates Trent Miller & The Skeleton Jive bring Thomas in on a couple of tracks for their album ‘Welcome To Inferno Valley,’ wherein Trent Miller sings in world-weary, gritty tones – one of those voices ruined by decades of smoking and bad luck, although judging by the CD front cover the man himself is young. Opener ‘Inferno Valley’ tells a tale of despair and no redemption, the backing band essentially acoustic guitars, violin and a few patters of percussion. ‘Last Chance Motel’ is uptempo and Americana, with a strong tune carried by that distinctive voice. ‘Nowhere Road’ is a ‘lonesome trail’ song, ‘Whispers Of A Fool,’ covers the fairer sex, ‘Fear Of Flying’ is in similar territory (“one too many drinks”) but adds backing vocals for a fuller effect, while ‘Come Down To Murder Love’ is a terrific vocal performance of dark material. The brief ‘Witch Trials’ is deceptively jaunty, while ‘Hunters In The Twilight’ is a slow, mournful track where Miller’s voice is as whiskey-ravaged and throaty as it is possible to be. Lovers of tale-telling Americana will enjoy this one.”

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