Written by: Dave Navarro, March 24, 2014, at 7:00 a.m.
It’s not often that a 23-year-old puts out a five track EP. It’s less often that the EP is good, but then there’s Jack Bennet of Grumble Bee. This one-man singer/songwriter/composer put together a stellar five track EP at the end of February titled Disconnect, and I liked it a lot. Here’s why:
The first track to catch my ear was “Sky Writer,” a three-and-a-half minute discordant mess of rock. After opening with a drum and string march theme, the song barrages the listener with tangled guitar play that is offsetting but addicting, with one instrument wailing maniacally and another laying a foundation. And then we get a taste of Bennet’s vocals, and the well deepens.
A common play in the modern rock scene is to have a sort of Jekyll and Hyde vocal pairing. Think back to the screamo or hardcore tracks that juxtaposed a softer voice through one section and a gutter roll through another. Bennet doesn’t get that drastic, but he does have a nice touch between rasp and smooth that works wonders. These two voices get blended into not only the same line, but often into the same word. For instance, we’ll take the first lyrics of “Sky Writer”, I’ll italicize the lyrics that are smooth, and leave rasp plain, and you can see that in places like ‘stone’ the word is split between these two voices.
“I’m faced with regret, all of my body’s in stone, I’m maced with truth to try. But I don’t really feel a thing, I don’t really feel a thing at all. I hope you know, that none of this was personal. I wrote it down and choked it up, it riddled me out of my soul. When I say I don’t feel a thing, well I feel it all.”
Likewise in the opening lyric of Francium, words like “chasing” and the last “I’m” get split.
“I’ve been, chasing out all the ghost you know and I’m, caging them out, in a cross-hair. While there’s blankets sedated in a fall, I’m ready to take you there.”
What this amounts to is a dynamic vocal style that really lends itself to being thought of as an instrument.
All in all, there’s five tracks of rock goodness to sink your teeth into for about 20 minutes, but you’re bound to end up throwing this EP on again and again, if not just to catch the little idiosyncrasies that makes Grumble Bee an artist to keep an eye on.