bark92 · CD / DIGITAL · Barsuk Records · April 2010
It is far from hyperbolic to enthusiastically assert that this albumBlunt Mechanic's firstis Ben Barnett's finest work to date. Considering the critically-acclaimed and cultishly-followed body of work he has amassed over the past 15 years recording as Kind of Like Spitting, one could be forgiven for dismissing that claim before having heard the onslaught of impeccably constructed songs, unstoppable, charming guitar hooks, heart-wrenching, moving, uplifting storytelling, brilliant turns of phrase and vocal/instrumental interplay that collectively define world record. After more than a decade of musical exploration and a hiatus during which he dealt with and largely overcame some pretty serious hard knocks, Barnett started recording again on his cassette 8-track, in his spare time with a fresh and heretofore-uncharacteristic joyful perspective, and made an album that is the culmination of his creative and emotional life. He gave copies of the vivid, powerful lo-fi results (from stoney, sludgy grooves to plaintive acoustic expressions of gratitude) to friends. Friends smiled; Barnett smiled, we were happy to be among the friends he shared the songs with; copious hi-fives were smacked.