The latest, and best, release from Audio Antihero this year is the brilliant debut album from singer-songwriter Benjamin Shaw The title track lasts for less than a minute of scratchy, acoustic piano and vocals, before giving way to possible the best track on the album, 'How To Tell The Depth Of A Well'. Great lyrics and a melancholy melody make this a brilliant track that deserves to be heard and loved by all - my favorite lines are probably "You shouldn't blame it on the Tories even though they're vile, and you shouldn’t fill their lungs with water just to make my smile", although "I shouldn't fill you up with babies, we wouldn't know what to do, and you shouldn't tell your man he's useless even if it's true" comes a close second.

'Interview' is next, a sad tale of our need to work for The Man to earn a crust, even though we'd rather be doing something else. This is followed by Somewhere Over the M6, a slow, sad tale of love turned sour (there's a lot of sadness on this record). Next up, is the instrumental (but still sad) 'An Exciting Opportunity' and this is closely followed by 'Hey, Where's My Deputy?' which to me portrays the tedium of a dumb day, where literally anything happening would be an improvement.   

 'Home' tells of the downsides of having a baby, of going out, of basically doing anything at all other than staying at home (Is it sad? Of course it is). Then 'The Birds Chirp And The Sun Shines' betrays its cheery title with lines like "Let's track him down, make him yell and weep and smash his pretty head".

 The final track is 'HULK', or The Ballad of Dr Banner does exactly what it says on the tin - with a chorus of "Maybe it won't, maybe it don't, maybe it won't take me over tonight", it's a plea from David Banner to be rid of the beast within him. The only thing that could make this song sadder would be if it ended with the closing piano music from the original 'Hulk' TV series (that used to make me cry every week when I was a boy). 

Deep, moving, and highly enjoyable - get the album, get yourself a bottle of the titular Cabernet, and immerse yourself in both. 



Buy it here