With the rising success of Frank Turner Xtra mile records could have another prodigy on their hands. The similarity between the artists is instantly recognisably, showcasing their dedication to melodic and moody folk rock, with a healthy balance of whit, sing-alongs and socialist sincerity. Even to the extremities of having both covered ‘the distract sleeps alone tonight’ which seems unfortunately as unknown as the original eerie masterpiece by the Postal Service.
Although it could be argued the slot has been filled, Ben Marwood seems to replace Frank Turners poignancy with some very humorous one liners and word play, including little gems such as “I wasn’t talking about Whoopi Goldberg when I said that I would see your ghost and I would follow you now to your grave somehow, but you’ve always been crap as a host,” and “you hate all life’s unanswered questions but you still hurry home to watch lost.” Despite the cynicism and questionable sung spoken Reading vocals there is still unmistakeable talent embedded in the haunting guitar melodies and nostalgic heart felt youth written words, exposed perfectly in track 3 Toil.
The sheer bluntness and observational humour of tracks such as Harder Now To Break Your Stupid Heart and the art of parody in Tell Avril Lavigne I Never Wanted To Be Her Stupid Boyfriend Anyway are extremely entertaining and original, but as far as predictions for airplay and growing popularity go Marwood is going to be like marmite. In essence it’s subjective as to whether this artist is seen as trite or live lounge material. This short album is uplifting, slightly twisted and well worth dedicating a lunch break to exposing yourself to a new form of acoustic music.