It’s been a pretty brilliant few months for Benjamin Booker. The gravel-voiced, guitar-grit peddling, blues merchant played one of the most electric performances of Old Blue Last’s recent memory, he secured a record deal with Rough Trade Records and then gained a spot on the stage supporting Jack White on his mammoth tour. And now he’s even our Track of the Day with his song ‘Have You Seen My Son?”.
There is very little I can say that Booker’s ability and style cannot. He is at times both anti-establishment yet entirely traditional, culturally unturned and incredibly relevant, abrasively truthful but fiercely guarded; a man of many talents the main one being his ability to write a fucking ferocious pop song.
That’s exactly what ‘Have You Seen My Son?’ is; a pop song doused in the putridity of society, flitted with roaring fuzzy riffs and sparked by unrelenting drums to turn ‘Have You Seen My Son?’ in to a brightly burning anthem. Booker, beyond his incredible vocal performance, which would set the greatest challenge of Mr. Strepsil’s life, has a deep lying passion which explodes not only in every performance but in every note of his life.
That is the best thing about the punk-leaning blues sound that Booker brings, not only is it heartfelt and angry about it, but those emotions are easily put across to the audience through whatever medium Booker chooses. There’s a true art to his sound perfectly typified by the ending crescendo, which bangs and bangs with artful displeasure until guiltily waining, ashamed at giving up the ghost.
With the debut LP due out today via Rough Trade Records, Booker has to be one of the most exciting acts in music right now, if not destined for stadium-stardom he is a sure thing for cult-hero status, I’m guessing he’d prefer the latter anyway.