Title: There is Nothing More Frightening than the Passing of Time
Artist: The Superman Revenge Squad Band
Released: 16 September 2013
Label: Audio Antihero
Available at: http://audioantihero.bandcamp.com/album/there-is-nothing-more-frightening-than-the-passing-of-time
“How was that?” asks Ben Parker, vocalist and songwriter for ‘The Superman Revenge Squad Band’, at the end of his first solo album.
“Yeah” is the rough cough of a reply. It is a modest end to an impressive album.
The first few songs of ‘There is Nothing More Frightening than the Passing of Time’ struck me as sounding a little like Frank Turner, but with added saxophone. This initial suspicion was confirmed by Parker’s rhythmic utterances, such as: ‘I’m so indie I could die’; ‘I find myself depressing’ and ‘I’m going to go to bed, and when I wake up I will be someone else’. He also quickly name-checks Bob Dylan, and somewhat more bizarrely, Wetherspoons.
The rhythm of the lyrics, mingled with the occasionally jazz sounding melodies, also reminded me of Beat poetry. The beat poet’s poems were often read aloud over music, and recorded on basic equipment. They made up possibly some of the first lo-fi artistic recordings of this kind. Parker’s use of the rhythm that unsung words can make; and his focus on harsh sounding consonants strung together, add to the vividness of some of his most intimate lyrics, in the same way that these techniques would complement poetry.
A work that is so confessional is rare for a man (although it is gradually becoming more widespread for male artists to write about their personal lives), and Parker does it well. Parker should be praised for making his lyrics so instantly relatable to struggling artists of any kind. His lyrics discuss numerous issues, including depression, hoarding, identity issues, and the unromantic modern world; in a unique and earnest way. It is a sketchy and indie expression of desperation and self-deprecation. It is a work of lo-fi genius.