Bennington formed in late 2012 and have been described as an amalgamation of Kings of Leon, Mumford and Sons, The Black Keys, Jack White and The Lumineers. Their style is certainly difficult to pin down to a single genre, and this becomes evident upon listening to the first few tracks of ‘Visual Cues’, their debut album, which was released at the end of March this year.
Choo! starts off the album with a well written folk song, reminding me of the Dropkick Murphys, then it swiftly moves onto a Black Keys blues rock’n’roll song in the form of Never Show Your Love. These two openers really set the stage, and show the band’s muscles flexing in two very different musical styles. Stone is another solid folk/rock song with a catchy melody that feels like you’ve known this band for years. The talent in the songwriting is undeniable, and the lyrics are intelligent and intricate throughout the record.
Fade Away signals the slower segment of the album, and possibly could be seen as being not quite as strong as the beginning, but the use of piano and organ make the song more unique. Gracefully is a brilliant ballad, just at the right tempo, and the mandolin adds a different dynamic, lifting the song to great effect. This song reminded me of the more recent work of Ben Marwood, or a softer Jim Lockley and the Solemn Sun.
Dat Style contrasts with this greatly, with a quicker, more bluesy track, with added synthesiser to form what is a great ‘retro’ rock’n’roll sound that sits me in a diner in the heart of America in the 60s. With such a great beginning to ‘Visual Cues’, Teddy acts as a perfect ending. It takes the best bits of the album so far, and pieces it together into one of my favourite songs. It’s got everything you could want to tie up a very eclectic album, and leaves me begging the question – “When will they be touring in the UK?”
In summary, it is a very solid debut album with some great highlights, each reaching up to the top of their respective genres. Give it a listen, and buy the album here, and let us know what you think of it too.
Max @ Musical #Hashtag