Music, musings and more from the mind of Ben Averch.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Washington State" on Whisperin & Hollerin

"Washington State" on Whisperin & Hollerin

Our Rating: 8/10

It doesn't sound like it, but there is only one Ben Averch (

That is Ben Averch on vocals.

That is Ben Averch on guitar.

That is Ben Averch on bass.

That is Ben Averch on keyboards.

That is Ben Averch on drums.

For a solo project, "Washington State" has enough thump and widescreen soundscapes to fill a dozen bands. Hilariously, most rock groups these days seem thin compared to this. Averch kicks out the jams from the first cut, "Reset the Clock." Featuring the booming bass and drums that characterizes the rest of the LP, Averch aims for a big arena feel and nails it, slamming together U2 and Blue Oyster Cult to create a heavenly noise. Lyrically, Averch is a poet, finding spiritual renewal in the beauty of nature: "Open up to the shattering sky/As the red-tailed hawk begins to cry/It's a promise that I need to make/To find the center of the lake." Like Live, Averch has a wondering - and wandering - soul yet he's able to avoid any pretentiousness.

"In a Dream State" echoes the title of the record, recalling Seattle's Soundgarden in their mid-'90s form without the rainy Emerald City angst. "No Division" and "Levitate" are both reminiscent of Rush with their propulsive and magnetic guitar work. Averch is an amazing axeman; check out the scorching Stone Gossard-ish solo in "Sandcast."

At a time when real rock seems to be going extinct, Averch arrives to breathe new life into the genre, even if it's all by himself.

author: Adam Harrington


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