Most of the associations I have of acoustic rock are not good. To put it bluntly, most acoustic rock doesn’t rock. Ben Wadey is a purely acoustic singer-songwriter, at least on the songs I heard. Furthermore the songs were all rough demos – most of the tunes are built around an acoustic guitar in the forefront and vocal track, while “For All I Know” has some other instrumentation added. And unlike most acoustic bands, this guy flat out rocks!
Sure the overall feel is raw, rough and ready, but the melodies are skewed and unexpected enough to avoid sounding predictable or easily tired, yet they’re consistently breezy and catchy all the same. Ben Wadey gives things his own slant with a bunch of offbeat stream-of-consciousness lyrics.
Ben Wadey’s music shines in exquisite taste: melodically, lyrically, instrumentation (richness in tone and scarcity in instruments!). A spirit of honest and genuine reflection, of wisdom gained the hard way, is carried along by diverse, engaging, and frequently robust melodies. And Wadey’s vigorous voice–both his literal and figurative voice – is affecting. Wadey’s vocals are at their most persuasive on “Sweet Devine” and “Better Than Being With You”.
Ben Wadey’s voice is one of those earnest indie rock voices that are all the rage these days. But he also knows how to use it. He floats over alluringly circuitous melodies, key changes and avoids sweet La-La choruses with surprising ease.
Currently the indie-rock, singer-songwriter scene isn’t really bubbling with creativity. Most of its artists are as bland and uninspired as to place them barely above the dentist’s waiting room soundtrack. Ben Wadey however, lay the hammer down and ‘wants’ to show the world how this genre ought to be done – that is, ecstatically.
Obviously to ‘actually’ show the world how it’s done, Ben Wadey needs to roll out the instruments, polish off the arrangements and step-up the production. But that’s just the technical riff-raff – for on the creativity and performance levels, Ben Wadey is already astonishingly distinctive in his own right!
With such a knack for creativity, Ben Wadey should be cranking out an album real soon, at which time we could be able to decide which pedestal he would fit better on!