Sorry for the long delay in getting this post to you, but Ben Frost’s [second?] New York performance last March at Le Poisson Rouge needs to be seen and heard. The last time I saw him live was in March of 2007 at the now-closed Tonic, and it was so loud that he almost shook the giant air purifier off the ceiling.
Ben’s music is as scary as a Stephen King novel and brilliant like early Swans with Pan Sonic and some doom metal fried into to the mix. He started the set with “Theory of Machines” from the album of the same name. Frost sent the piece into guitar feedback purgatory, giving the song more force and power than ever before.
In “Leo Needs a New Pair of Shoes” from his latest thriller, “By the Throat”, Ben plays a haunting and beautiful piano vignette, supported by scraping static loops that take on a life of their own, irking him to the point of telling the static to “Shut the F Up!” and turn it off. It was hilarious to see him beating down the ghost in the machine during such a tense piece.
“Killshot”, the first track from “By the Throat” starts with a spooky keyboard loop, shards of backwards-masked swelling guitar stabs, and dulcimer riffs straight out of a horror film. Most of this puts dark genres to shame.
In his final track, “Ó God Protect Me”, Frost closes out with the quietest yet possibly heaviest song, including minimal piano synth, crackling static raindrops, and beats that sound like a pulse that is slowing to a stop.
Ben’s performance in 2007 was one of my favorites of the past ten years, and this show was nothing less. The rest of the world might not be ready for him, but I urge you to give it a listen. And of course, please support the artist and buy the MP3s here: