(Audio Anti Hero)
Now, as you may know, Blackpool is a town built on disappointment and despair. Growing up on these windy shores, Benjamin Shaw had an awful lot of time on his hands.
After a period of particular awfulness, and a short descent into madness, Ben fell for a whimsical fair lady on the other side of the planet, and promptly moved his life over to Melbourne, Australia. After a year in Melbourne, playing gaggles of shows Ben returned to England with a wife and an array of new songs and recordings. Now living in the woods of North London, Ben has recently been seen playing all the main dives you've never heard of.
Neil Young mixed with the Okkervil Rivers, Jeffrey Lewises and Sparklehorses of today have become the diet, and with all the agility you would expect from a gangly, pale washing line of a man, Benjamin Shaw is coming at you like a wet duffle-coat. I Got the Pox, The Pox is What I Got: Six & a half songs of nausea, noise and hilarious anecdote.
DIY storyteller Benjamin Shaw makes his debut with 'I Got the Pox, the Pox is What I Got'. At its root a collection of beautiful , simple and homicidal songs, but one that grows in layers; keys, percussion, screeching harmonies, with claps, thuds, kettles, kittens and creaking doors all washing over this intimate and desolate lo-fi record.
Musically vast and sonically awesome, Benjamin is far beyond the (now derogatory) term – "Singer Songwriter". He recalls the most essential works of Neil Young, J Mascis, Bon Iver, 'Vivadixie..' era Sparklehorse and even the early charms of a drunken Tom Waits – but brings so much of himself to his work, that it's a chore to arrogantly suggest sound-alike's or influences, Shaw is one of a kind. His concept of narrative and sense of bleak humour create involving and fascinating stories, ones that truly deserve to be carried by the fighting frailty of his voice.
Benjamin's bitter bedroom recordings, swamped with fuzz, buzz, distortion, are a real shot in the arm for the sterile swarm that is today's acoustic scene. Artistic, ambitious, original and pure – there's been no one like Benjamin Shaw around in a long time.
"Fastidiously DIY in sound…A 'name' for 2010." – God is in the TV
"Ben inspires a rare empathy in the listener... Up there with the best of this year...on the 'to watch' list for 2010 - 8/10." - The Music Fix.co.uk
"Benjamin Shaw had a few more surprises tucked away than I first thought. I would definitely love to hear more. CD of the week." - Half A Cow Records
"A cracked and beautiful voice, with a series of gently electronic infused laments of love, loss and disenchantment. Quite beautiful." - Subba-Cultcha.com
"Underground notoriety beckons…8/10." – Rock Pulse.co.uk
"A surprisingly layered record…real swells of sound. A smothering blanket of melancholy…I look forward to a full album." – Songs By Toad
"Defiantly ramshackle..the only fear is that Shaw's style may fail to attract the attention it deserves." – The Skinny
"A 'singer-songwriter' who obviously isn't happy with the connotations that tag would bestow upon him. He's fighting to find his own voice in a sea of tepid waters soiled by the likes of James's Morrison and Blunt" – Tasty Fanzine.org.uk
"A curious, water colored dreamer" – Clicky Clicky Music.com
"Defiantly lo-fi values cloak soul baring singer-songwriterliness as if essayed at the end of a very long and uncomfortably active night, throwing everything off course with electronic layers, noises and the inscrutability of his lyrical worldview." – Sweeping The Nation
"A beautiful lo-fi thing indeed." – A Little Electricity
"An alternative idol in waiting…" – Fractions of One.com
"Benjamin Shaw is a one-man wall in a dark alleyway of sound, and I'll be looking out for him - 9/10." - Music Emissions
"Hopelessly catchy." - Unpeeled.net
"Alive in a raw way that was almost lost years ago." –Chaos Before Predictability.com
"Enjoyed from the wrong side of a bottle of wine, like the singer appears to be - 7/10." Die Shellsuit Die!
"Magnificent" – Jack Hayter (HEFNER)
"Distortion, self-deprecation, and humor. I cant wait to see what he puts
out next." – Creative Intersection
1. Thanks for all the biscuits
2. 12,000 sentinels
3. Chocolate girl
4. The carpeteer
5. When I fell over in the city
6. I got the pox, the pox is what I've got