Ben Union – This Blessed Union Vol. 2. –Self Released Jan.12-2013
Seattle based quartet Ben Union have gained access to a wider power pop pallet on the second half of their two-part sophomore self released album titled This Blessed Union embracing synth sounds, techno beats and Euro pop sensibility. The eight song EP has a sonic breadth that shows the foursome who have worked hard to build a strong following in the Northwest are ready to take on the wider world. Ben and company leave behind the quirky garage rock of their earlier material for a more mature and introspective set of songs drawing instant comparisons to The Killers, Maroon 5 and Cold Play. The album kicks off with the party rock anthem “Shake That Ass,” a track that even with its PG-13 title is destined to be a hit. The band then shifts into disco rock with “Substance,” followed by the full on techno pop of “Trouble,” a song of self perseverance and personal triumph delivered on an infectious groove. With its U2 like chiming guitars and poetic imagery “Angeles,” is arguably the most powerful track on the EP. This finely crafted modern rock ballad tells the tale of a lost love and a soul longing for home, a simple universal theme, performed with conviction and grace. The social conscience message of “Friend,” plays across a lovely bed of orchestral percussion mixed with dub step beats and ethereal guitars that build to a swirling crescendo then drift off to oblivion. The Band then goes into a pseudo progressive rock vibe on the time shifting “Misfit,” sounding a bit like “Porcupine Tree Light,” complete with a mighty guitar solo and a muscular finale that will jar you out of your seat. The final track “Rambo, “churns and burns as homage to the Chili Peppers with full on thrash punk funk glory. This Blessed Union VOL.2 is an expansive piece of work that covers a lot of ground in so few tracks, begging the question what Ben Union could accomplish given larger resources and a full length album format to work with.
Rick J Bowen
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