Thursday, September 18, 2014

Album Review: Ben Century - Unwanted

There's one major difference between this album and every other album I've reviewed on Classical Gas Emissions.... I made this one! Well, I sorta made this one too, but "Unwanted" is a more serious attempt at musicianship than that other piece of junk which is a compilation of songs I recorded as a kid.

Speaking of which, it's been a dream of mine to record and release an album since I was about 7 years old. This was my first attempt:

It sold a total of one copy! In those days, I didn't have a dual tape deck so I just played and sang the songs every time I wanted to make a copy. I even spliced the cassette myself to eliminate all the dead space! Each song is about 30 seconds long, and there's even a couple of instrumentals!

So what was the main motivation for finally recording and releasing my own album? It was actually the last band I was in. This band constantly teedered and toddered between the names "Apathy" and "Tone Deaf". We actually recorded an "album", but I was at the mercy of the guitar player who wanted to remain in control. To him, I was just a mere vocalist and occasional lyricist. My attempts to have more input on the songs and mixing of the album were turned down like a blister-covered hooker. Because of my lack of input, we ended up with classic songs such as "Fred The Mouse" and the entire album was mixed in mono.

I had more input in my previous band Proper Motion - who's name came from us making fun of the drummer, and a fictitious story of him sitting in the corner masturbating. I wrote a good half of the songs, most of the lyrics, and had some input from the other members to fine-craft our songs into the excellent compositions they were. I still enjoy those songs today, and I'm quite proud of the accomplishments we had as a band.

Anyway, let's get back to the Apathy/Tone Deaf story. The drummer and myself were frustrated with the guitar player and bass player (who were brothers) because they didn't want to go out and play live. Instead, they preferred to sit in the basement and record more albums in mono. The drummer and I came to a point where we'd had enough of the bullshit and quit the band. I still get negative feelings when I listen to those recordings, and I think I actually hate the majority of the songs.

From the day I quit that band, I decided I'd had enough of dealing with shithead band members, their stupid songs, and their shitty mixing jobs. I decided I wanted to record an album all by myself. I started in 2004 and finished last weekend. Yes, it took ten years, although there was a 4 year break in there to focus on raising my son (because his dumbass mother couldn't be bothered). I wrote all the songs, played all the instruments, and sang all the vocals (with two minor exceptions).

So, do I have songs called "Fred the Mouse" that are recorded in mono? HELL NO. I've seen enough bad examples of what NOT to do which I've posted on this blog over the last 7 years. I was able to figure out how to do things BETTER. So the album sounds good, and the songs aren't stupid. One of the songs was written when I was 18 years old. You can tell which one it is because of the dated lyric "I was sitting alone, waiting by the phone". Nobody waits by their phones anymore because we have this new technology called CELL PHONES!!! Just put it into your pocket and wait for it to vibrate pleasure into your pelvis.

Some of you may be saying, "HEY! That album cover looks familiar!" Yes it does, because I originally posted it here. I stole from my own blog! Not only did I steal the cover from my own blog, the liner notes read like one of my blog entries! I should probably sue myself into the depths of my own rectum!

Just look at that fucking craftsmanship!

You can listen to a generous sampling of it here!

It's supposed to be popping up on Amazon any day, and I'll be putting the links up when it does. Until then, you can order a copy directly from createspace. Besides, if you order from createspace, I get more royalty.

Buy it from createspace! Buy it now! You'll love it!

As for touring, I'm not doing it because I don't have the means to. I have a son to raise, but I get a few days off here and there, so I may go out and play a bit for publicity. Even if I don't sell 500 copies, it's an accomplishment that I've dreamed about for decades, and I finally did it. It's a great sense of accomplishment for me, and I'm glad I followed through on it even though it took so long.

In other news, I'll be once again appearing on Kent Davies' Amateur Hour On September 24th. So all you Winnipeggers be sure to tune in to 95.9 FM at 5:00 PM. And for those who don't live in Winnipeg, you'll just have to wait for the podcast version. Poor you.


Oddity Archive said...

Hats off to you, my friend. Making an album is tough, especially when the entire weight is on your shoulders.

Reminds me of the first couple Pursuit of Happiness albums (which I mean as a high compliment). :)

Erich Reinhardt said...

Releasing an album has always been a dream of mine as well. In fact, I had once pondered putting out a CD of recordings that I made when I was a kid, but I have lost most of them over the years so that has since been scrapped.

I have written a few songs over the past few years, but I ended up not finishing the backing tracks or not recording them at all. I wish you all the best of luck with your album. In fact, I may even snag a copy myself sometime. :0)

Derrick McMillon said...

I've always wanted to hear more stuff from the 148 days, even if it was crap. I downloaded the Canned Peaches thing once. It gave me track listings but no samples, whereas this gives me samples but no track listing.