Sunday, March 26, 2017

Album Review: 'Our Undivided Attention' by Benchmarks

Title:  Our Undivided Attention (SofaBurn Records, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify)
Artist:  Benchmarks (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloudBandCamp, Spotify)

Nashville, TN's Benchmarks full-length debut Our Undivided Attention is a compelling, enriching, and fulfilling album that touches on a multitude of sub-genres, styles, and moods all while holding strong as a cohesive unit and a singular experience.  Mixing elements of indie rock, alt country, emo, anthematic punk rock, power pop, alt rock, and classic rock, Benchmarks have created a sound that is bold, expansive, and pure rock 'n' roll passion.  Without the constraints of being an actual concept record, Our Undivided Attention has themes that are heard throughout its 11 songs, including a wonderful lyric that is haunting and desperate in the opening track "This Year" while hopeful and optimistic in the closer "Next Year" -- "I know next year things will be better."  It is that idea that permeates all aspects of this record through songs about love, life, trials, tribulations, growing up, and never giving in.  Sonically Benchmarks hit that perfect sweet spot playing catchy melodic rock anthems with deep emotions and a slight twang.  This is the kind of record that should appeal to fans of everything from Placeholder to Against Me! to Jimmy Eat World to Foo Fighters to Two Cow Garage to The Promise Ring and everything in between.

You can check out my interview with Benchmarks' guitarist / lead singer Todd Farrell Jr. on episode # 10 of the Oklahoma Lefty Podcast available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spreaker.

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