Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker (Rough Trade)

 |   |  <1 min read

Benjamin Booker: Old Hearts
Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker (Rough Trade)

Although he had some considerable advance hype, this New Orleans-based punk-edged rocker lives up to the claims being made on this debut album, simply by delivering gutsy rock'n'roll with a tight band and songs with titles like Violent Shiver, Wicked Waters, Spoon Out My Eyeballs and I Thought I Heard You Screaming.

But those titles don't really tell the story because far from being some shock rocker, Booker nods towards the focused fury of a young Joe Strummer fronting the Dirtbombs, or at other times explores a kind of busted folk-blues which eases towards hurtin' soul music (Slow Coming).

Booker doesn't appear to be faking this, he was in the punk scene in Gainesville, Florida (Tom Petty's hometown) and found his feet in the milieu of musically wide-open and angry New Orleans.

So this album has an injection of anger but some very pointed songs (Have You Seen My Son?) and some genuine kick-arse rock'n'roll (Violent Shiver).

He isn't the future but he sure knows the past well enough to drag it into The Now.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Luke Thompson: Here on the Ground (Pure)

Luke Thompson: Here on the Ground (Pure)

This young singer-songwriter from Tauranga came to my attention a few weeks ago when I was asked if I would write a bio to accompany the release of this, his debut album. I get a few such... > Read more

Liam Gallagher: As You Were (Warners)

Liam Gallagher: As You Were (Warners)

Quite a few were dismissive of Liam Gallagher's previous post-Oasis incarnation in Beady Eye, but round this way their debut Different Gear Still Speeding and the slightly lesser follow-up BE... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Superman is Dead: Kuta Rock City (2003)

Superman is Dead: Kuta Rock City (2003)

Those who head to Bali for some r'n'r and an escape from stress (as I did, see here) will probably come back with the memory of quiet ambient gamelan music which drifted from speakers in the... > Read more

Savoy Brown: Voodoo Moon (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Savoy Brown: Voodoo Moon (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Many years ago Pete Frame would produce books of meticulously drawn family trees of rock bands. His Sabbath Bloody Sabbath tree filled two tightly written gatefold A5 pages and traced Black Sabbath... > Read more