Ten Benson are a bunch of noisy motherfuckers with dodgy headgear. Suki Kent is in love.



by Suki Kent

I've got a confession. Music isn't my scene. Let me say it again. Just to wind up the musos. Music sucks. Not just rock music. Not just electronica. Not just horrid shouty-woman things like Alanis Morrisette or Sleater-Kinney or Tori Amos. Anything. Everything. All. Music. Is. Shite.

Music's expensive and it's like food, or drugs: it never works. You've always got to go out and get more sooner or later. Again and again and again, swapping your greasy notes for little plastic bags with things you want inside. Boring. I enjoy telling people I don't like music and watching their faces crumple. 'Music is shit', I say, and they look at me with fear in their eyes, like I've just said I enjoy playing with dogdoo, or I'm a feminist, or a child molester.




Fave bands:
'Sabbath, Kiss (especially the Destroyer album), AC/DC, Ted Nugent, Mother's Pride, Saxon, Girlschool, Deep Purple'

Rock 'n' roll lifestyle:
'We met these two groupies up in Manchester. Two middle aged ladies slightly younger than our mums. They were really sweet: said they'd not been out for years, but they’d heard us on the radio and come out. We bought them a cup of tea.'

Message to readers:
'Rock Music can be fun. Come see us!'




But. But. Sometimes a band comes along and they're so good, so teeth-chatteringly, spine-shatteringly FABULOUS, that their sound grinds your defences into dust. And Ten Benson is that band. Suddenly it's all changed: I'm crazed and obsessed, a hungry-eyed stalker, dancing like a redneck at their gigs; noting similarities between a Benson B-side and an early-Eighties Mari Wilson track; air-guitaring with my friends like girl versions of Beavis and Butthead. So what if I'm a nice quiet girl and not a 14-year-old devil worshipping suburban teenboy? Who cares if I'm not a blue-jeans-wearing AC/DC-lovin' Midwest whitetrash? Thanks to the power of Benson, I am now READY TO ROCK, just like they are! Put another dime in the jukebox, baby!

Ten Benson's music walks up to you, grips you by the forearms and orders you to shake your cakes and jump up and down till your head falls off. And if you don't then pummels you with riffs raw and heavy as uncooked steaks till you give in. The Benson sound is not slo-fi, post-rock, lush, multi-layered or clever. It's every riff Sabbath, Ted Nugent, Girlschool, AC/DC and Motorhead ever played, all mixed up with little bouncing Zebedee and ZX Spectrum computer noises, accompanied by the loudest, most energetic drumming you ever heard, and then... there's the voice.



The voice sounds like a Neanderthal's knuckles dragging along gravel: deep, rough, grating, menacing. It's scary and funny and sexy all at the same time. The vocals are often unintelligible, or even nonsensical (sample lyric: 'Rock cottage... high wattage... hot sausage... all night'); their stage act contains choreographed dance moves and some spontaneous dropping-to-their-knees rifftastic rock poses. They wear studded caps from the Muslim Care Charity Shop on Brick Lane, or matching Littlewood's staff uniforms in maroon terelyne, or big black Welshman's hats whose high crowns bob with each juddering powerchord they play. It's unfashionably insincere but surely only because they're embarrassed about how much they love making this kind of hackneyed seventies vintage rawk NOISE. Bless 'em.

Ten Benson: not so much kicking the arse of popular music as putting it over its knee and giving it a spanking. My kind of band. Hot sausage!




Ten Benson's debut album, Hiss, is out now on Cottage Records. Visit their website for more details.





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