Das Ben: Million Miles Away
By Shaun Chait
Das Ben is the guitar slingin', big voiced alter-ego of the otherwise mild mannered Ben Sedley. This debut album includes updates or reinterpretations of some tracks from his earlier EP, as well as a bunch of new songs. Joining him on this outing are some well chosen session musos including Pet Johnson (Breathe) and Ant Davies (Seven Sons). He has wisely brought in the twin knob twiddling talents of Steve Gallagher for production and Mike Gibson for mastering. Das Ben writes a fine pop song; only these aren't pop songs. They are instead dressed in the finest acoustic punk/anti-folk paraphernalia, giving him a unique home within the local scene. Combining the Kiwiana of McGlashan, the politics of Bragg and the attitude of Reid with the storytelling abilities of all three, Das Ben likes a good lyrical namecheck, often coupling it with a telling wit. The swagger and snarl of Brett Stanton's guitar suits his voice to a T on Every One Of Us and Million Miles Away, while at other times the instruments take a step back and just let him tell the story.