Houston Calling

Review: Benjamin Wesley, Geschichte

June 25th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Benjamin Wesley

The multi-instrumentalist behind some of Houston’s best-known underground bands, Wesley is no stranger to creating unique, original music. On his solo debut, the musician creates a wildly inventive set of songs that implements beats with acoustic guitar, keyboards, and other instruments–all by his lonesome, and often all at once. Musically, Wesley does his best to capture the essence of his live sets (for those who have seen his performances, you know; for those who haven’t, check Vimeo). However, what separates Geschichte from the live experience is his lyrics–it’s much easier to focus on what he’s singing about when you’re not standing in awe of what’s happening onstage.

“Have You Ever Died?,” a strangely tribal, danceable romp that ends in a singalong, and “Beat Bloody Battles Axes”–two of Geschichte‘s highlights–both display Wesley’s talent as musician and astute lyricist (“Some dreams make me wail with love and creatures scale my skin”). However, nowhere is this more evident than on “Geschichte,” on which he sings: “And the bombs they go off in the distance / From all around and you hear the sound / And you’re hiding under an overpass and you take my hand to higher ground / From up above the concrete crumbles and we both get crushed or swallowed up / And when you awoke and you were still alive you greeted time with a smile.” It’s this combination of apocalyptic heartbreak and hopefulness, along with Wesley’s musicianship, that makes Geschichte–and Benjamin Wesley–one of a kind.

Advance warning: Benjamin Wesley plays an in-store performance at Cactus Music on Saturday, 7.11.09, at 3pm. Mark your calendars.

Check back soon for an interview with Wesley.

Tags: Music · Reviews · Show listings

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Benjamin Wesley interview, in-store at Cactus // Jul 9, 2009 at 6:39 am

    […] Local musician Benjamin Wesley plays an in-store performance at Cactus Music this Saturday (7.11.09) at 3pm. I have been a fan of Wesley’s since seeing Basses Loaded play a while back, but it’s his recent solo release, Geschichte–and his one-man-band performances–that really have people talking (click here for a video). Read my recent review. […]

  • 2 Houston Calling’s favorite Houston releases of 2009 // Dec 21, 2009 at 10:19 am

    […] EP succinctly captures his unique cross-section of styles. Here’s some of what I wrote in my review of the EP: Musically, Wesley does his best to capture the essence of his live sets (for those who […]

  • 3 Review: Benjamin Wesley, Think/Thoughts + win tickets to release show // Apr 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    […] With Geschichte, Benjamin Wesley’s debut solo release, the Houston-based musician introduced himself as dark and talented, with songs that did ample justice to his wild and impressive one-man-band-style live performances. On his latest album, Wesley thankfully doesn’t stray far from the inventive songwriting that’s made him one of Houston’s most unique artists. The songs on Think/Thoughts are often sad, sometimes playful, and still bristle with hope. […]

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