Introducing... 'St. Bennetts' -'Oh Sweet Devil' (single)
We have 2 rather good tracks to bring you tonight, even if I do say so myself. The first, somewhat inevitably, comes from Bergen in Norway, a city we've not visited musically for at least one whole week, and it's to introduce you all to a band that I particularly like because it's very much my type of musical nonsense. 'St. Bennetts' are a 4 piece band that have been around for a while, and I have listened to an old track, but I think it's their new material which will really start to make an impression.
So 'St. Bennetts' list their influences as the likes of 'Kaizers Orchestra' and fellow Bergen musicians 'Major Parkinson', which is great to hear, although clearly these are such hallowed names to us that we would never want to make a comparison - nothing will ever come close to 'Blackbox'. Anyway 'St. Bennetts' new single 'Oh Sweet Devil' is a hugely entertaining 7 minutes of well.... music, because it does cross the boundaries between folk and rock, but it's not folk rock, and whilst it may have some progressive influences somewhere, it's not really in that style either. All this is good, because we do like music we can't entirely categorise.
The track tells the cheery story of a religious farmer who has lost his son and wife to the evils of war, and decides to embrace darkness by joining the devil and heading out to the battlefield with a gun. I like dark storytelling in songs ('Mannen I Ausa' by Moddi remains a favourite), and so I think this element all works really well. Musically though is where it all gets really interesting. It opens gently with a very obvious folk leaning, telling the story of the farmer, before it explodes into life some 3 minutes in, with a rather wonderful guitar sound, and then builds with a huge sweeping melody to the big climax at the end. It's a pretty hefty track, but it doesn't feel like 7 minutes of music.
Take a listen to 'Oh Sweet Devil', you really have to listen all the way through to get the full impact:
Anyway I do like this new track from 'St. Bennett's' and apparently 'Oh Sweet Devil' is the first of 3 tracks about the poor farmer, and they're all due this spring. We'll try to bring you the others at suitable times to cheer your weekend.