Los Angles-based duo, Benny Ed and Sean Mahaffey—better known as Ready Never—released their debut album Eleutherophobia January of this year. The album is a unique blend of EDM and indie-rock, made possible through the integration of foot synths and DJ gear with traditional bass guitar and drum instrumentation. Presumably it works through a triggering mechanism that starts and stops audio sequences as they play. A more comprehensive look at this technology and how it's implemented into their live shows would make for an interesting YouTube video in and of itself. However, their live broadcast of ‘Take that Pill’ will have to suffice... admittedly it looks as though they’re simply playing along with a backing track, and in some sections lip-syncing; this may or may not be the case.
Regardless, the mass appeal Ready Never continues to garner is attributed—no doubt—to their unique blending approach of two very different yet very popular musical styles, as well as the cumbersome feat it takes to produce such sounds during live performances with bass guitar in hand. Since their 2012 inception, the band’s growing notoriety has lead them to open for such legendary rock acts as Lenny Kravitz and Sting. The band is expected to make appearances at various festivals and events this summer in promotion of their album.
Eleutherophobia isn’t just a fancy 15-letter word; it means fear of freedom, and the connection between the title and the album itself isn’t one you should look too deep into. The album plays more like a dance party anthem mix than a philosophical analysis of today’s sociocultural climate… okay maybe I looked to deep into it. Either way it is what it is: ten eclectic tracks of wonderfully produced dance heavy beats, layered with delightful melodies, and kitschy lyrical lines that’ll make you shake what your mama gave you.
All things considered: it’s a challenge to serve up electronic dance beats with a fresh perspective these days. That said, despite the DJ synth/live music mash-up, the album itself is lacking in the originality department. Most tracks have a striking resemblance to electronic pop music already produced… and no, that’s not because they’re sampled; they’re minute variations on already existing material. Strangely enough there’s something that doesn’t mesh about indie music barrowing from pop. Still the album is a great jumping off point for the duo as they refine their sound, and the music still has elements of originality that’ll make people dance all the same.