7 Jul 2020

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Channeled - Album Review: Channeled

24 Sep 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu

Ben Ruegg, a fellow contributor to Muzic.net.nz, an artist who's been creating music since he was 8 has, at long last, taken the leap and created his debut album, produced under the name Channeled. Influenced by all forms of music and genres, he set out to create an LP that literally channels his inner consciousness and let his musical creations do the talking. The eleven-track album is due to be released in a couple more months, and I had the privilege of hearing what Ben has been conjuring up over the past three years.

Straight away, the flavour of the album is strikingly alternative-rock, infused with the essence of the 2000’s. The mission statement is set out in the form of energetic, open-chord distorted guitar matched with mid-tempo rock drumbeats. The opening tune Bring It Back Again feels like it was lifted straight out of the late 1990’s or early 2000’s; vocal style of Scott Weiland, guitar tone of Dave Grohl and the lyrics celebrating success and the future.

For those, like myself, who listened to rock, heavy metal and pop punk of the 2000’s, you’ll find more than a few audibly familiar fibres, most noticeable is the guitar work and vocal delivery. Throughout the album, Ben’s voice ranges from a teenage Cobain (best exemplified in the final choruses of The End) to a moody and introspective Jon Toogood (verses of Deeper).

The guitar work is worthy of mention; I have personally always been a supporter of making a song sound good instead of letting instrumental technicality do all the talking. The solos and chord progressions are well-thought out, and whilst not complex, contribute nicely to the ebb and flows of a song, like on track 3, Just Say It.

At this point, a personal commendation must be given for Death Knell, the sombre and post-apocalyptic electronic piece. Not only does it help paints a dark heart into the album, it also serves as a breathing spot, albeit a bleak-sounding one, midway through the LP.

The album’s lyrics span a wide variety of subjects – From the foreboding When We’re Gone, addressing climate change, relation struggles in Storm, and lamenting the quality of modern music on album closer If I Had a Delorean. Certainly not a dull exploration of personal and social problems and everything in between, the lyrics themselves at times feel predictable, especially on the final track. Overly-frank lines such as “And then we got caught up with life and shit, but the fire never died” became distracting to what is otherwise an upbeat and bittersweet homage to one’s good old days.

In all, for an album created and produced solely by one person, the recording quality and songwriting is truly incredible. In a few places, theatrical or atmospheric additions are injected, by way of police sirens (song 4, Slow But Steady), or air-raid horns (on song The End). The theatrical edge is bumped further with the addition of interludes and instrumentals, such as Death Knell and Remember, respectively.

Following a few listening-rounds, I found as I reached the album’s end, for the first time in several months, I was eager to give it a full spin again from start to finish. Guess those hits of nostalgia got me in the feels after all! If Mr Ruegg’s goal was to help revive the 2000’s alternative rock sound, he’s certainly done just that.

You can follow Ben’s journey and support his musical creations by contributing to his Kickstarter campaign HERE.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Channeled

Channeled is a music project lead by singer/songwriter Ben Ruegg.

Coming with years of experience as a songwriter and performer, Ben has found a way to channel his ideas into the form of his powerful and well received self-titled debut album, Channeled.

The album kicks off with Bring It Back and the raw power of rock is evident right from the start with guitars that build up and explode in the intro. The wall-of-sound guitars complement the energetic rhythm section to create an authentic rock sound that emanates with charisma. This is rock music you can really feel and Channeled delivers it to perfection

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Channeled


Year: 2019
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Steve Shyu

PolarisRadio - Album Review: Deadline
03 Jul 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Dean Moroney, under his stage name PolarisRadio, is on track to becoming Aotearoa’s finest retro-synth music producer. Over the past six years, from his home-base in the Hawke’s Bay, he has released numerous one-off singles and full-length releases, including Virtual Paradise.
Voodoo Bloo - Single Review: MMA
11 Jun 2020 // by Steve Shyu
With lockdown officially over, here comes the time to see live some of the music that’s been recorded or released while Aotearoa has been in isolation. Out of the now indefinitely-shelved Wellington band Lucifer Gunne comes Voodoo Bloo, the new project of the musical mastermind Rory McDonald.
Channeled - Single Review: Isolation
04 Jun 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Just by reading the title you’d be forgiven for thinking this is “just another song about being in lockdown”. Before you dismiss this outright, you’d be relieved to know the songwriter actually composed this years before Covid-19, and in his own words, it’s about "running away from being locked inside your head and turning away from the person you once were".
Ten24 - Single Review: Blissful Affliction
01 Jun 2020 // by Steve Shyu
One of the newest and most brilliant acts to come out of Wellington recently is Ten24, the alternative rock four-piece that took out the Smokefree Rockquest People’s Choice Award of 2019. Steadily gaining traction and attention from throughout the capital, the band have recorded and released their very first single, entitled Blissful Affliction.
Lorenzo Hazelwood - Single Review: Pharos
21 May 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Having performed lead vocal duties with Auckland hard rock band Close to the Bone, Lorenzo Hazelwood has added another entry to his musical repertoire by going solo. Known for his guitar playing, bold vocal range, and an uncanny resemblance to Incubus’s Brandon Boyd, Lorenzo beavered away at this home studio, recording all parts himself.
Primacy - Album Review: Seeds of Change
14 May 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Auckland’s groove/alternative-metal quintet Primacy are primed for great things. Consisting of vocalist Rhys, bass player Sid, drummer Will and axe-wielding duo Jared and Adrian, their debut EP Failure & Sacrifice peaked at Number 13 on the Official New Zealand Album Charts.
Midnight Manor - Single Review: Save The World
04 May 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Auckland’s hard rock stalwarts Midnight Manor are venturing ardently through their music-making journey. Having released a single just last month to great praise, the band are carrying forward the momentum in preparation for the release of their second full-length album Mindful Games.
Midnight Manor - Single Review: Space Monkey
06 Apr 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Auckland quartet Midnight Manor have been kicking around the rock scene for nearly eight years. Sporting a healthy number of singles under their belts, plus a full-length album to boot, the band have not rested on laurels, and released a brand new sophomore LP, named Mindful Games.
View All Articles By Steve Shyu

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
    DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
    The Weeknd
    Ariana Grande And Justin Bieber
    Jack Harlow
    S1mba feat. DTG
    Topic feat. A7S
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem