Benchmarks – ‘Our Undivided Attention’

By Emma Greveson

Benchmarks are an alternative punk-rock band from Nashville, influenced by the likes of Jimmy Eat World and The Gaslight Anthem. This is evident in their debut album ‘Our Undivided Attention’ with their melodic vocals and rhythmic guitar riffs.

Opening track ‘This Year’ is an acoustic, laid back track purely containing Todd Farrell Jr’s vocals and a repetitive, soft acoustic guitar. It sets the scene for an album that’s clearly about relationships and heartbreak with lyrics “I know that next year things will be better”. It is a short track of just one minute twenty seconds which at first is a surprise and the ending is unforeseen and sudden but it leads us on to tell the rest of the story.

‘Frames’ certainly has a Jimmy Eat World vibe, especially Farrell Jr’s vocals, which have the same adolescent tone of Jim Adkins, and the short pauses between accented guitar parts are reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World’s writing techniques.

‘Girls and Boys’ introduces a rhythmic, undistorted guitar and lyrics that make you want more. The introduction leads in to a detonation of distorted guitars, more passionate vocals and more punk-rock. The sweet piano riff and overdubbed vocals of the bridge grabs your attention, providing a fantastic contrast to the rest of the track and makes ‘Girls and Boys’ stand out as the best written track of the album.

Overall Benchmarks’ debut album is a good representation of alternative punk-rock although more original ideas would be welcomed in their music. It’s easy to  listen to and enjoyable and with some obvious influences, their music is relatable and will grab the attention of many potential fans.

EMMA GREVESON

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