Album Review

Ben Gregory - episode

A record quite mind-boggling in its scope and scale.

Ben Gregory - episode
Still only in their early twenties by the time they disbanded, Blaenavon’s two-album canon showcased a trio of musicians with an impressively ambitious approach. It turns out, however, that this was only the tip of the iceberg; on debut solo album ‘episode’, frontman Ben Gregory has made a record quite mind-boggling in its scope and scale. Written following a stint in a psychiatric hospital, the explosion of ideas present across these eight tracks tally with an overactive brain trying to put itself back together - in the space of the seven-minute ‘deathbed hangover’ alone, moments of beauty and brutality jostle for space, as a twinkling melodic line tries to fight its way through glitching electronics and cacophonous soundscapes. ‘blue sea blue’ is an epic that moves from undulating, ballsy electronics through a sweeping meditation on a future child into an uneasy depiction of an unravelling mental state and out again; even on ‘episodes’’ more straight-forward tracks (the gently euphoric ‘manifest’, or the cathartic slow-build of ‘mother’s son’), there’s still the sense of an artist operating at a real creative peak. Judging from ‘episode’, the next instalment of Gregory’s musical career is one worth pausing on.

Tags: Ben Gregory, Reviews, Album Reviews

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