Saturday, March 15, 2008

Review -- BEN NAGY -- Balogna Face: Revenge of the Alien-Bodied Noodle

Ben Nagy
It has been a long while since I've been so confused by an album, but at the time so interested I wanted to hear every wild, wacky, and yet well-played cut.
Ben Nagy is a young Yorkton musician who has, like most young artists, been in several bands, the kind which rise from a basement jam session, only to fall to the wayside when one, or more of the members leaves home for education, or work.
This weird little effort though is Nagy's first solo effort. I use the word weird, because a) it's not easy to pick a word that can fully describe this one, and b) it is a word the artist himself used. “It's just weird,” he said in describing the work in a related story this issue. “The closet thing I can really compare it too is (Frank) Zappa, but it's still nothing like Zappa either. It goes through a lot of genres; blues, metal, an acoustic tune, some synthesizer stuff.”
So what exactly do you get here? I've listened to it, and frankly I'm still not sure myself. This is one of those efforts where a young musician has a bathtub full of ideas and says 'hey, I'm young, I'm learning. I'm experimenting. Let's just use everything'.
The result is a pretty wigged out ride. You don't need a smokey haze of wacky tobaccy here, the music is trippy enough as it is.
There are some cool instrumental moments, like the Purple Hazish Come With Me, and the psychedelicish Dead Funk Scrounge.
There are moments of blues-inspired rock, like Balogna Face, and Revenge of the Alien-Bodied Noodle.
But then there is the underlying weirdness, vocals distorted by electronics, bizarre yet often endearing lyrics, and some stuff I may have nightmares about if I ever fully figure out what was going on.
This CD is for sure not commercial, not radio friendly, and you know, that's not a bad thing. You know you are going to be among a rather small group to venture into Nagy's world, and that's kind of a cool thought.
This will not be music for everyone. Nagy knows that too. However, as a local musician exploring his potential this is a fun effort, and should be one people take a $10 flier on, just to experience the weirdness first hand.

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Mar. 12, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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