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Ben Weasel - Fidatevi (Cover Artwork)

Ben Weasel

Ben Weasel: FidateviFidatevi (2002)
Lookout Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: moldyMoldy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

"I've got six guitars I can barely play and a questionable singing voice as well. But I get my joy out of little things like just sitting here trying to play and sing". So begins the first song "Patience" on "Fidatevi", the first solo record for Ben Weasel (Screeching Weasel). To me this album had .
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"I've got six guitars I can barely play and a questionable singing voice as well. But I get my joy out of little things like just sitting here trying to play and sing". So begins the first song "Patience" on "Fidatevi", the first solo record for Ben Weasel (Screeching Weasel). To me this album had the familiar Weasel sound to it, but was still able to pull away from SW's shadow and create some beautiful and touching lyrics.

Fidatevi means to have trust in one's self and trust in others. I think that on this release Ben has come to trust himself to write a emotionally powerful album, and is trusting his fans to understand and accept it. Ben says that the lyrics on this album were "based on experiences or insights gained by practicing secular sitting meditation as well as ideas I came across and personalized through the study of the works of authors as diverse as Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Henry David Thoreau, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Pema Chodron, Ralph Waldo Emerson and others." Now when I read this, I was wondering what the hell is he talking about, sounds like he's become a hippie or something, but that changed after a few listens and I think I have found an understanding of what he wanted to accomplish.

From what I have read and heard, Ben was very proud of "Emo" (which I actually liked) but was disheartened by the fans' reaction to this and wrote "Teen Punks In Heat" to sound how the fans wanted it, not how he wanted it to sound. Could this disappointment in his artistic vision be part of the reason for the break up? Perhaps, but I think that this album was a step in the healing process. I believe that this album is a journey of acceptance of what he has accomplished and become. Gone are the snotty "I'm an asshole, but you're worse" songs and have been replaced by songs about being positive, seeing the beauty in the world and remembering to breathe and live your life for yourself.

Musically it's not a great departure from what Screeching Weasel were known for, the guitars aren't as fast, and more melodic, even breaking out some acoustic for the cover of the Kinks "Strangers," but the tunes and the melody are definitely there. The easiest way to describe the sound on this album is Screeching Weasel with less of a Ramones influence and more of a Crimpshire, or if you don't know them, think "Emo" only much better. Ben is joined on this album by former band mate Dan Vapid (Screeching Weasel, Methadones, Sludge Worth, Mopes) on guitar, bass, and backing vocals and Matt of Teen Idols fame pounding the drums.

Overall this release is actually really good, and while it may take a couple of listens for some people to understand, I think that it's one of those albums that only gets better each time I listen to it. It has that quality in it, that each time you listen you notice a line or two there that means more to you than the last time you heard it. I would recommend this album for all Screeching Weasel fans, emo fans, and people struggling through a tough or complicated time.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityScreeching Weasel - Anthem For A New TomorrowDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Screeching Weasel - Teen Punks in HeatThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldJoe Strummer and The Mescaleros - Global A Go-GoThe Weakerthans - Left and Leaving

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
kill_fftl (September 19, 2006)

yeah when the fuck did he get so nice

Anonymous (September 24, 2002)

I'm a big fan of Ben Weasel. I've read both his books. I have both of the Riverdales albums. I have all of the Screeching Weasel albums. So naturally I wanted to like this album. It must be good if so many of you are giving it perfect scores. But I just can't get into it. It sounds to much like EMO, which is the only SW album I didn't like. I think my problem with it is that Ben has matured. It's just to serious for my taste, and since when did Ben become such a nice guy?

Anonymous (September 6, 2002)

Who even mentioned drive thru/mca bands??

I thought we were talking about pop punk and/or punk rock..

Anonymous (September 5, 2002)

Actually Screeching Weasel did release 2 albums on fat

Anonymous (September 5, 2002)

Saying Screeching Weasel and The Queers are synonomous with Drive-Thru/MCA crap is absurd. The are obvious similarities in influence, but there are also major differences. Primarily, aong structure and content...(i.e. witt, cleverness and subtleness in ideas).

-sickboi

AdamVMS (September 5, 2002)

I would say that the Queers, Screeching Weasel, Nofx, and such are all new school punk. I will leave the ramones out of it b/c of obvious reasons, but for an easy reference just about anything by most pop punk bands that have a CA sound and have released an album after '92 (note I didn't say formed)

You are still thinking that old school has to do with the age of the band.

General Rule: New school and pop punk are synonymous 99% of the time

Anonymous (September 5, 2002)

Is that to say the Ramones, The Queers and so forth are also "new school"? Maybe some of the newer bands have been heavily influenced by these groups, therefore making Weasel, Ramones, etc to also seem "new school". I think the best way to describe them would be "old school pop-punk".

-sickboi

evildeadalive (September 2, 2002)

When I think new school I think Fat or Epitaph. Screeching Weasel? I don't think they went to school.

AdamVMS (September 2, 2002)

Their first couple of albums came out in the late 80's (88 or so). Their sound embodies "new school" punk. I think you are seeing old school as being an age thing instead of being a sound or better yet a descriptive modifier. When people refer to listening to "old school" punk they are normally talking about more of street or 77 style punk band whereas when people refer to liking "new school" they are generally talking about a poppier punk band IE screeching weasel.

Huey (September 2, 2002)

How is Screeching Weasel old school? Good good man, the Weasel was around for quite a long time, and they were very much influenced by early punk (Ramones obviously). They were such a big part of the 80's and 90's punk scene. It's bands like them and Jawbreaker, Samiam, Crimpshrine, and so many others that really helped keep the spirit of early punk alive.

evildeadalive (September 1, 2002)

I'll have to check this out... Also, don't forget the Queers for Danny Vapid's long, long resume.

AdamVMS (September 1, 2002)

Not trying to be rude, but how in the hell do you consider screeching weasel to be oldschool punk??

(directed towards sickboi)

Anonymous (August 31, 2002)

Whats up with all the old school punks trying to gain this spiritual enlightenment lately?

-sickboi

fletcher (August 30, 2002)

Best cd of the year.

Wyld_Stallyns_Rule (August 30, 2002)

Totally agree with everything you said. It took me a few listens, but I really, really enjoy this album now. I don't get why people don't like 'emo' either, good shit. This is great, though, and if you're hesitant to check it out, get a spine.

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