Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker

Album Review by Gary Kaill | 30 Jul 2014
  • Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker
Album title: Benjamin Booker
Artist: Benjamin Booker
Label: Rough Trade
Release date: 18 Aug

“The future is slow coming,” laments Benjamin Booker on the fourth track of his debut album and the first chance for the listener to catch breath after a barrelling, raucous opening. For a young musician so indebted to the past, there’s a hint of irony in those words. Booker’s got the blues, no doubt, but he kicks his heritage influences around, scuzzes them up, marries an indie rock energy and punk ethic to his soul man spirit.

He’s a tremendous vocalist and top marks for leaving some performances here in their ‘natural’ state – hey, what’s a semi-tone between friends? Have You Seen My Son is prime Strokes, the scrape and twang of Booker’s guitar defining his rough-hewn methods as much as that distinctive voice. Sure, it could do with a little more song craft but what it lacks in that area, it more than makes up for in character. A blast of real promise. 

Playing Glasgow King Tut's on 8 Sep and Manchester Ruby Lounge on 13 Sep