Commercial, power blues rock has been a thing for a while now, with many trying to claim the formula. After supporting the more vocal half of The White Stripes on a recent tour, Benjamin Booker is attempting to bring it all back home with his self titled debut. Recording at an analogue studio in Nashville has given his first attempt a considerable primal, coarse sound which suits the Florida native’s voice down to the ground, and harks back to the days before two piece blues rockers spent their time arguing with, then apologizing to each other.
The ragged 'Violet Shiver' bangs you about and from that first track onwards Booker never takes his foot off the pedal. Veering from the fuzzy drums and guitar of 'Always Waiting' to the rough-edged rock blues of 'Chippewa' by way of the searing vocals of 'Slow Coming', Booker is never less than committed, including the out there, Shaun Ryder-sounding 'Spoon Out My Eyeballs' (“I would listen to the radio / If I liked songs produced by 40-year-olds in high-tech studios.”). The great thing is that while he's never reverential to the history of the music he also steers clear of the traps that blight much of the modern genre. Honest, real, and raw, Benjamin Booker is a great introduction to a new talent.