Benchwarmer - Smoke & Mirrors (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Smoke & Mirrors (2005)


Benchwarmer's new single Smoke & Mirrors is an elegantly-packaged two-song trip that illustrates the maturity of the group. On their 2003 self-titled debut the trio wore their influences proudly on their sleeves as stimulus from the Clash and Fugazi were in abundance. Genre jumping would be an understatement for that initial release -- beneath the obvious there was much more as the trio could visit melodic hardcore vocals in the vein of BoySetsFire, but still deliver rhythmic basslines that would give the Descendents a run for their money, giving the album soul while still pertaining a fascinating and original pop character á la the Pixies.

"Smoke & Mirrors" once again shows the immense diversity Benchwarmer is capable of. The song opens tenderly with the ambitions of modern garage rock, yet endures to take on much more than the battered sound -- pooled with mild-mannered jingles before transforming the three minute track into a rock‘n'roll explosion shouting into your ears.

The additional cut "Among The Living" continues to emphasize the talents of the three individuals. A rapidly pulsating drumbeat builds up as keys cue Ashton's airy vocals. The song lives in the same mucky rock vibe as the previous but its distinguishable drums and gritty keyboard elevate the thumper which again erupts to highlight the solidity of Benchwarmer.

With the recent supplement of a second guitarist, Benchwarmer look and sound excited to start 2005 off with a blast. Smoke & Mirrors justifies their anticipation to share their aptitude with everyone in search of interesting and unique music.

Smoke & Mirrors
Among the Living