steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion


"Sing Along with the Windchimes with bengeorge7" CDR

Breaking World Records

Genres: lo-fi, experimental, diy pop

Breaking World
30 West St.
Hadley, MA 01035

May 12 - 18 2003

FUN.  This limited-edition disc (100 copies made) comes in a homemade cardboard-and-duct-tape package with a mini-booklet and a goofy "group" photo.  From there, you know you're in for one crazy ride.  And bengeorge7 don't disappoint.

The music on Sing Along with the Windchimes with bengeorge7 is all over the map.  "Just To Make You Cry," for example, starts off with a bunch of yelling and silly electronics, only to suddenly settle down into an offbeat little folk-pop number.  "Royal House," meanwhile, is a vocals-only sing-a-long with the bizarre lyrics "Down in the Royal House/I eat my face off."  It's moments like those that make you realize how dang funny bengeorge7 are.

I don't want to give away all of the comedy gems and clever ideas on Sing Along, but elsewhere on this album there is a public access television theme song ("Uncle Kenny's Theme"), numerous sorrowful pop songs ("Talk To Myself," the fantastic "Between Art & Commerce"), and a crazed, noisy freak-out called "Reflections on Love" featuring sensitive lyrical gems like "I've got a hand grenade/And I'm gonna get LAA-AAID!"  As well, there are numerous untitled telephone messages littered throughout the sonic wreckage, bridging the absurd with more serious affairs.

Altogether, this is a pretty conceptual release; much of the enjoyment it causes is due to its absurd ideas and over-the-top humour.  But it is unfair to discount the CDR as solely an idea, because bengeorge7 pull it off particularly well.  The tracks, although goofy as all hell, are well-composed and often very melodic.  While you definitely get the feeling this is just the work of two close friends getting together for a big joke, you can't shake the feeling that they also completely know what they're doing.  Guitar talent, well-executed electronics, and above-average songwriting only serve to prove this.  All in all, Sing Along with... is crazy enough to be a show-your-friends type of affair, but also accessible enough to be something you can enjoy on your own.  Go out and snatch a copy before it sells out.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 25 songs, distributed by the label, released 2003]