Release Date: May 21, 2013
Dollartone Records; 11 Tracks
Review by: Lee Fraser
Young Benjamins release the perfect summer record.
If you love bands like Said the Whale, Library Voices and Rah Rah, if you’re looking for something new to add to your soundtrack to the summer, this is it. Less Argue is an album full of snappy love songs that are perfect for playing both loud at the cottage and on your personal device in the dappled shade of a sunny urban park.
The album opens with the very moody “The Colonial Pt. I”. The organ playing and vocals by Veronique Poulin are haunting and beautiful, backed by Kuba Szmigielski ’s light-handed percussion that permeates the entire record. This song will make for a great stage entrance some day, with the crowd going wild.
What follows is an album that has been beautifully crafted. Every song has its own distinct sound, combining guitar, bass, percussion and violin, for the most part. The lead vocals of Neusha Mofazzali betray his British up-bringing and provide a little extra intrigue to the overall sound. This is a band that does not have a formulaic approach to song structure; instead, each song follows it’s own meandering path, as if the band has pieced together what sounds right as opposed to what should happen next. This mentality may explain the anti-mainstream inclusion of a sweet 58 second song as well as a minute and a half instrumental.
The album is very upbeat, with poetic lyrics about love and its inherent struggles. Only one song, the title track, has an entirely different palette. With a prominent bass line by Brynn Krysa and deliberate abruptness to the vocals, “Less Argue” can subliminally make you feel very angry. This song and “Common Thief” do, however, showcase the organ playing of Poulin. Hopefully future albums will maintain the easy flow of the loose song structure but will feature even more of Poulin’s vocals and keys.
On the cusp of being “discovered”, Young Benjamins have scored themselves a much-coveted position at this year’s Hillside Festival. If you’re not amongst the lucky ones headed to Guelph late in July, no worries. Young Benjamins will play 3030 on Thursday, August 1st. This gives you plenty of time to pick up the album and fall in love with these songs.