T-Son: Combat Soul
By Stephen Jewell
Benny Staples has been a fixture of the NZ music scene for over 20 years now. Firstly, as the drummer of early '80s punk funksters the Newmatics then as part of groups such the Milltown Stowaways, the UK-based Woodentops, Pacific 909 and most recently Lava Lava. This is Staples' first solo album under the T-Son nom de plume, and some local critics have labelled 'Combat Sol' confusing but it is a dense, multi-layered album you need to invest some time into. Fans of Lava Lava's under-rated opus will find much to appreciate as tracks like Origins and Ancestors and The Sound of Newton are underpinned with trademark deep bass and funky drum breaks. The Scrape features Mu and Dallas from Fat Freddy's Drop, whom Staples first worked with in the early '90s as part of the Crackhead Experience, and Protest One - LAPD is co-produced by DJ Tobi from bFM's Thunder & Joy show. 'Combat Sol' is erratic and all over the place at times but that is all part of its honest, natural charm. Out on WR Recordings/In Music.