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March 20, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Das Ben – Million Miles Away EP

How do the following lyrics make you feel?

‘I died in ‘Frisco at The Stones/ I died with Paul at the time of Abbey Road/ Sid Vicious and I will never grow old.’ Do they make you want to laugh hysterically at their clunky pretentiousness? I did. But then a minute later, I was confronted with ‘I was with Diana in the back of the car’, and I realized that not even David Brent at his most cringingly ignorant could write such a song. Das Ben is taking the piss, from the kiddy punk acoustic guitar to the deadpan humour in the lyrics. My favourite line in the entire EP is from Planet Me: ‘He said you only need three chords so I wrote it with four’. What else do you want, huh?

I’m going to let you in on a secret: I’ve never seen him live. But I’m pretty sure that Ben’s a fucking funny guy with a keen ear for the ridiculous and a rather good wit. I’d put money on him being a gazillion times better live than he comes off here. Not that this is bad. It’s just that the production is scratchy and hollow-sounding, and I can’t escape the niggling feeling that the man live would surely add up to more than this one-dimensional debut. Das Ben has been playing his brand of acoustic punk since 2002, and has a devout fan base. That is why I’m suspicious that this has missed the mark. A man who happily refers to himself as ‘Lou Reed on an OK day,’ and trades in a mixture of play-school rhymes (‘we went to Midnight/ She ordered a flat white…we went to Civic Square/ she said why are we here?’) and anti-corporate witticisms is the kind of man I want to spend an evening with, not his pale shade. God, I’ve got to get out more.


About the Author ()

BORN WITH a cigarette in one hand and The Trial in other, Bea meant to go on as she started. Music wasn’t her first love, but her first love ended in a fight over rightful ownership of a Velvet Underground LP and the kitchen knife, so she chose the kinder option and stuck with it. In her spare time she enjoys casting aspersions, skulking, and making sweeping statements. She never checks her facts: figures it’s a way to live a little, to have arguments with people, then meet them. She’s currently writing a collection of short stories inspired by Schopenhauer’s manifesto of suffering and the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. When it gets published, she’s pretty sure that boy will want to hold her hand.

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