Did i need to hear this album?Yes and no.. Yes I needed to hear this album..Let me draw my bow and let’s see where it lands.Ben Salter confirms Queensland’s Tradition of generational counter culture sign posts.The obvious place to look for those in Australia, would be Sydney or Melbourne, But Brisbane proves that to be far from the case.Music, Literature and arts in general have had a determined and very Australian history within Queensland, (Australia’s blunt, backwards, but very charming northern state , akin to that of Texas for the US.)
It has been the arts that have commented most poignantly in what many consider to be a strangled conservative and anti minority climate.A Bielke Peterson state dressed for the lords tax breaks led to many suspect churches that sprouted up in the 80’s by born again real estate agents, along with the sale of the cost line to foreign investors with little care for preserving and maintaining the great Barrier Reef.Gold Coast glamour that reeked of a weekend at Bernies scene with less personality than Burnie offered in the film,To add to all of this Queensland was a rugby state. For those unaware, Rugby is a game played by men with no necks.. Nuff said.Anyways my vague dissertation is getting there.‘He died with a falafel in his hand’ , The Saints, Radio Birdman, Angels , Dr Pump, and that guy that wrote the book ‘Voss”….The list goes on, and on..All game changers from backwater Brisbane or further afield. Their notoriety and acclaim is not at all due to the bell curve.
These creations and creators would be worth their salt in any cultural and artistic zeitgeist.And so it is with that segway that i arrive Mr Ben Salter.The class of 1998 (fucked if i know the date but it sounds near on) saw the Goth bot with boots and thick coat on an existential trudge around muggy, humid Brisbane. Low and behold old ben does the caterpillar trick and winds up starting the Gin Club…The fuckin Gin Club, coming down to Melbourne from Queensland and swaying their hips…No Melbourne fella stood a chance of a kiss if those cunts were playing a show.I was eighteen years old when I first saw them and thought he was a bit of a prick.The reason being, his songs were so fuckin good, his voice could tear the highest notes from the ceiling and all in a very surly yet charily self deprecating way.Dont get me wrong, this bastard knows that he’s good, but he is a humble computer nerd all the same.Since that evening i begrudgingly hummed his tunes in random moments and now happily. He does some stuff I couldn’t give a shit about, but all your favorites should. Since that time he has become one of Australias more culturally important artists, and I think time will only cement that.His lyrics seem to have evolved into a refined yet never finished conversation with all things dark and light, matter or no matter.Yeah he still writes about having no sex or having sex and all the normal shit people on acoustic guitars do before they masturbate and fall asleep, but his descriptions of baring witness to thought and the complexities that consciousness stirs in all of us, are truly brilliant. Ben Salter melody wrapped in a riddle, can be a lingering mind fuck that leaves you feeling less alone in the world. His medium is music, his motive is to witness, The man knows how to talk AND is a active listener and perceptive custodian of the flame (Not the olympic one), the human experience.our idea of our surroundings, our awareness of the ache in repetition but the deep roots of ritual. To quote Salter “The destination is not clear, but we’ll have ourselves a time on the way”.. Well thats what i think he wouldn’t say, but its funny to put in this article. Where was I???Oh yeah, the review..Mythic Plane. I haven’t listened to it yet.But you should. MYTHIC PLANE ON BANDCAMP OR SPOTIFY https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Salter bensalter.com.au
Ben has played hundreds of shows around the world as a solo artist. In 2012 he travelled for five months around Europe collaborating with as many songwriters and artists as possible, playing shows in Spain, Italy, Germany and Iceland. From that extensive tour he was inspired to release his European Vacation EP. As a solo artist he has supported musicians including Cat Power, Built To Spill, Something for Kate, Violent Femmes, Augie March, and Tim Rogers.