Hailing from Montclair, NJ, Like-Minded Benefits is the solo project of Rob Atkinson. Atkinson, while only 23 years old, has been writing music for as long as he can remember. Taking part in many projects and bands growing up he got a lot of experience that is shown on his latest and recently released (in May) self-titled EP, Like-Minded Benefits, that contains mostly acoustic based songs that revolve around his heartfelt singing and acoustic guitar. The songs are well written, have enough variety to keep you interested and impressively are all recorded, mixed and mastered by Atkinson. He says on his Bandcamp page to listen to the album with headphones, which I did but didn't really find necessary. This isn't exactly an album by Keith Fullerton Whitman and I was able to thoroughly enjoy it whether I had headphone on or not.
The album opens with the lyrically fueled “Motions.” He does a job knowing when to harmonize and also when to add additional guitar parts. Sounding a bit similar to Ben Gibbard on this track, Atkinson has a comforting indie-approved voice that I could see a lot of people being attracted to. “Deadweight” is a bit more of a downer than the first song and almost as good while “Again” sounded like one of the most commercially viable songs (not my favorite song on the album but arguably the most accessible). “Vacant Vessels” was a nice change of pace although a bit unexpected in that it was an instrumental piece and in fact sounds nothing like the previous songs. It is in fact an ambient piece that is soothing as various sounds such as bells soft synths, bells, and more whizz past your ears. I was impressed in fact and I would love for him to venture more into this territory and consider making an entire album dedicated to this type of sound.
The next song “Heights” sounds a bit awkward coming right after as it revolves around somewhat standard pop format. The transition sounds odd and possibly could have been better if the mastering was a bit better. The album closes with the upbeat “You and I” which has some nice sounding supporting vocals by Colby Jade.
Like-Minded Benefits has a good number of songs except for a few flaws. I'm interested to see how he develops in the coming years and very intrigued to see if he delves more into the ambient material.
We are 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 critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook