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Averch, Ben: Start at the Beginning

Spanning 15 songs in 61 minutes, Start at the Beginning should have stopped a little sooner. The second album from Boston multi-instrumentalist Ben Averch (a former street musician and frontman of Bison) is well, I'm not exactly sure what it is. Hailed as a "one-man symphony of prog rock," Averch never really settles into a musical style here. Instead, his eclectic approach sounds more like indie pop or even alt rock, but it ain't "prog" at least not in the traditional sense. There's even an acoustic-guitar riff at the end of "Hope Anchor" that echoes the beginning of Winger's "Madalaine," for goodness sake, and post-hardcore punker Bob Mould inspired album opener "Two Places at Once."

Vocally, Averch seems as if he's trying to channel everyone from Metallica's James Hetfield to The Cure's Robert Smith. Consequently, Start at the Beginning doesn't really start anywhere. It just plops us, as listeners, in the middle of an emotionally expressive set that is short on memorable songs. Averch performs them with confidence and competence, to be sure, and the album gets better with every listen. But he might want to stick to songwriting and playing next time, letting a more dynamic vocalist with a stronger range handle singing duties.


Track Listing:
1) Two Places at Once
2) It Ain't Me
3) Start at the Beginning
4) The Source of Love
5) Out of My Reach
6) Creative Destruction
7) Love From the World
8) Hope Anchor
9) Pure Energy
10) The Nothing Shines Through
11) My Darling Ruin
12) When You Were Born
13) You Can Only Feel
14) What Holds Us Together
15) Western Sky

Added: January 19th 2009
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Ben Averch's Blog
Hits: 484
Language: english

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