Ben Everyman Iconoplastic

Ben Everyman Iconoplastic
Vancouver, BC's Ben Everyman thumbs his nose at songwriting conventions on Iconoplastic, a debut album as charming as it is cheeky. Witty, scruffy and irreverent, the album combines lo-fi production with absurd lyrics then tops it off with defiantly off-key vocals. Even on catchy, more conventional country-folk number "Dead Snow," his voice eventually spins out of tune, creating a dissonance that both unsettles and adds warmth. Although the guileless goofiness of tracks like "Rocknrollstar" and "Jesus Grew Grass (In His Garden)" has its appeal, it pales next to the more dramatic elements on the album. The strings on "Birds' Songs" and "Don't Irritate the Bees," and the pounding piano of "Girl Which Loved Her Pets" are paired with much more abstract lyrical themes to become the most affecting and memorable songs in Everyman's catalogue. It's a formula he'd do well to refine and repeat. (Independent)