Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Ben Wallick was always an avid music fan. His first real love was The Beatles, and Ben remembers until this day eagerly watching the Anthology videos on television when he was just a boy. At some point his parents directed him towards the piano, which he pursued for a few years until he made the switch to the bass guitar. Primarily an electric bass player, Wallick nevertheless managed to pick up the guitar, get back into piano in a big way and even learn some upright bass along the way. He studied music theory and history in both high school and college. During the college days, Ben played in several groups including Dank Skullkap, Gavriel Kahane, Yaakov Chesed and Sonic Itch, the dynamic duo that brought you the hit single "How About Me?" Ben's musical influences range from Radiohead and Paul Simon to Charles Mingus. He currently resides in Jerusalem where he gigs regularly and continues to pursue a career in music production and sound engineering.
While songs like “I Don’t Wanna Wake Up,” “Another Day,” and “When it Rains” on his album Kings and Things remind you of his musical influences with hints of Paul Simon and even The Beatles, it sometimes lacks personal flavor that makes a song distinctly that musician’s work. The beats seem like a modern take on what was going on in the early 70s and if you closed your eyes, you would swear you are hearing an alternate version of a Beatles song. One of the highlights on the album was "It's Not Enough" which sounds absolutely inviting with its warm electric piano, dry drum kit and delicate voice. The album has very uplifting rifts and a synchronized harmony but for a debut album, I really expected to hear something that perhaps reminded me that the musician came from Israel or perhaps lyrics that related to his personal growth and struggles as an artist. The songs really aren’t as diverse as Wallick might believe, but they definitely are cohesive and that makes it easy and enjoyable to listen to from beginning to end in this album. One thing that has to be mentioned is how good the songs sounded. The recordings themselves were clear, had lots of separation and didn't have any of the qualities that usually plague indie recordings. This was an important factor that made the songs that much more enjoyable.
I do recommend listening to at least a few of his songs to see if it's your cup of tea. I do feel that this artist could be interesting to watch develop his own musical personality, as the craftsmanship of the guitar, keyboard, even harmonica made this worth listening to. If you like Bob Dylan-like harmonica, The Beatles midway through their career, and some of the new work by Radiohead, this is a must listen to album. I do feel this is more fitted for someone who likes folk music versus a hard rock album, as all of their songs are definitely are for that end of day relaxation and not that vibrant wake you up music.
Divide and Conquer is dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We review a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
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