Benard / Worn in Red - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Benard / Worn in Red

Split [7 inch] (2008)

Alaska / No Brakes

The first time I reviewed Benard, not too many people cared. The second time I reviewed them, even less people cared, but those who did sorta flipped out and said I didn't know anything about music because I made a few Cursive and At the Drive-In comparisons. That's probably true to some extent, but almost two years after that second review, here we go again.

I still have those releases sitting in a pile of un-alphabetized CD-Rs, and haven't listened to them in quite a bit. But if I remember correctly, Benard seem to be more caustic and noisy this time around. It's the sort of raucous, driving and searing post-hardcore you can tell Drive Like Jehu had a hand in influencing. Each line is spitfired through the ruckus, from the hard-to-construe "Medieval Knieval" to "A Prostitute That Caters Exclusively to Clowns," the latter of which seems to provide some targeted commentary on "selling out." Granted, I could be "wrong." Again. Anyway, it's definitely up there with the standouts from their self-titled full-length release, and probably even better.

Worn in Red only get one shot at making their mark here, but oh man. I've been hearing good things about these guys for a long time, but I would have checked them out way sooner if I thought all their songs were as good as this. The super epic "Vital Joys" spans close to six minutes and features gravelly screamed/shouted vocals that, for me, bring to mind Glass and Ashes, but it's spread across a lively, ragged base that sounds like a more distortion-thick Funeral Diner splashing in punkier waters. It's a pretty conscious song about redefining oneself, too. The song's already over a year old, but it sounds fresh to me.

Benard - Medieval Knievel