The Show: Wednesday, August 8, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Heaven is a Hotel, Chemistry Set, and the pAper chAse

By Piet Levy

If a band could ever be defined as unintentionally innovative, Benway would fit the bill. To these Fort Worth rockers, the music simply happens — and it happens to be experimental (e.g., dynamic tempo shifts, screamed lyrics, squealing guitars). You may not think the music is so adventurous on first listen. It merely sounds laborious. But there’s mystery in the mix, and you can’t help but listen further.

The quartet is primarily inspired by and interested in emulating Touch and Go Records-affiliated bands such as June of 44 and Slant 6, makers of what goatee-sporting music connoisseurs dub “post rock” or “math rock” (probably in the hopes of coining a catch phrase). But Benway doesn’t care about labels. The two-year-old band is still finding its footing, so sound comes before message, lyrics serve as filler. With a steady looping beat pulsating through many songs, it’s easy to assume that the trip is going nowhere. But dare to delve deeper, and the repetition makes sense; there’s a mood being established, and the songs are becoming their own. Unlike some experimental artistes, they proceed without pretension, constructing jigs to the words of a ranting e-mail or missives about the Robert Blake scandal. Benway still has some growing to do, but when the time finally comes to strut, you know the goateed will certainly show support.

Fri with Heaven is a Hotel, Chemistry Set, and the pAper chAse at The Wreck Room, 3208 W Seventh St, FW. 817-348-8303/817-870-4900.


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