Audio Antihero’s miserable golden boy…songwriter, noise maker and life-taker…Benjamin Shaw.
Born to soiled genes in ‘80s Blackpool and loathed in soiled scenes of today’s London, Benjamin Shaw first appeared in 2009 with the ‘I Got the Pox, the Pox is what I Got’ EP, a fuzzing buzzing 6 tracker full of lo-fi dissonance and homicidal romance. The release went largely unnoticed but overtime picked up support from BBC 6Music DJ Tom Ravenscroft and scored a slew of rave reviews, with The Line Of Best Fit warning readers that “if you think you’ve heard the likes of Benjamin Shaw before, think again.” 2011 brought his debut LP, “There’s Always Hope, There’s Always Cabernet.” Mixing the acoustic-base of the previous EP with sounds and arrangements somewhere between Odd Nosdam and a disturbed/inspired Brian Wilson. The album even takes off into a world of unexpected art-rock and accidental shoegaze, his lyrical fantasies of “picturing your limbs in the freezer” had evolved into warnings that we “shouldn’t blame it on the Tories, even if they’re vile and you shouldn’t fill their lungs with water just to make me smile.” Claiming he “never wanted to stare into the abyss…Celebrate, good times, come on!” before finally resolving to just “fill my mouth with idiots and throw me in the lake” – Shaw is perpetually between social commentary, believing his own hype, collapsing, romancing and profusely apologising. His worldview is never certain and his walk is never assured but they are both his own. The album was acclaimed by Drowned In Sound, Clash Music, This Is Fake DIY, The Line Of Best Fit, BBC 6 Music and a lot more. A bunch of people hated it too, which was probably a good sign – if honest.
Releasing these records was as exhausting as it was rewarding and I hope they live forever…a few of you will remember them and that’s enough. Great music for miserable times, Amen!
“Superb.” – Drowned in Sound
“One of the hidden gems of 2011 – 8/10.” – This Is Fake DIY
“You wouldn’t want everyone (or anyone else) to sound to like Benjamin Shaw but I’m delighted someone does.” – The Line Of Best Fit
“One of the better records of the year – 4/5.” – Is This Music?
“Benjamin Shaw is an outcast, a loner, a maverick and a freak. All of these are compliments.” – CLASH Music
“A truly special album – 4/5” – Music OMH
“An album that is quite unlike anything else, full of blackened charisma and a sonic imagination quite different to most – 8/10.” – The Music Fix