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Channeled - EP Review: Interpretation

05 Feb 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

2020 was a breakthrough year for Channeled. Instead of just being a studio project, multi-instrumentalist Ben Ruegg was convinced to turn it into a full operational live band which quickly gelled into an incredibly tight unit which grew with experience and confidence each time they gigged. Although Ben recorded most of the second album on his own, the songs were played live, and Channeled made it through to the final of the Ding Dong Lounge Battle of the Bands. They arranged a headline show at that venue with Café Fistfight and Mariner as support to celebrate the release of I Heard Penelope Sing, but then disaster struck with Ben being rushed to hospital earlier the same week. After being kept in for a few days, and suffering myriad tests, Ben was allowed home to recuperate but the gig had come and gone, and he was just not ready to get back on stage just yet.

2020 was also a year of introspection for Ben, and he read a great deal to help make sense of what was going on around him, so when he was feeling well enough, the only way to express everything he had been going through was to sit down and write some new material which has just been released as a 3-track EP. Although the last album was only released a few months earlier, none of these songs appear there, as they have all been written since his sojourn in hospital. All three feature the Foo Fighter-style alternative commercial rock which one has come to expect, with plenty of guitars, yet while some people may focus on the buzzsaw attack they are given on opener Beyond The Realm Of Being, it is also wise to focus on the lyrics. The chorus is “I Step inside the field, And watch it disappear, Whatever I am reaching, I’m letting go of fear”, and it is the last words which really bring home the message. There is a huge amount of angst and emotion in this as he “channels” his inner Coridian.

However, one of the delights of Channeled is the way that Ben understands the need for contrast and dynamics, so middle track Again is far slower, while Interpretation again ups the ante, but is very different to the first so when the EP is played on repeat (it is only 14 minutes long so that is how I listen to it), the contrasts still really work. Ben has an incredibly strong sense of melody, and how to turn heavy material into something that is somehow more lightweight and commercial without ever losing any of the punch. These songs were written and recorded while Ben was supposedly recovering from his hospital stay, but one would never know that from listening to it but seeing as anyone playing this would also believe it was a full band as opposed to one person at home, perhaps that is not so much of a surprise.

If he is delivering like this when he is not at 100%, I just cannot wait to hear what album #3 sounds like and to catch them on the live circuit again.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Channeled

Channeled is ready to release the new album entitled I Heard Penelope Sing.

The new album is truly a sign of the changes that have taken place in Ben’s life. Just listen to tracks like A Conversation With You, Is That Glass? or I Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It and you will know what we are talking about here. In fact, those who heard the album before it’s release were all surprised with the direction the new music went.

The name of the album is semi-inspired by his love of people not being afraid to sing their hearts out. Music is about the experience; one best shared. It's inspiring to hear others write songs and sing them because they love it. So many of us do this in our own homes.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Channeled

Releases

Channeled II (Part One)
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Interpretation
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Perception
Year: 2021
Type: EP
I Heard Penelope Sing
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Channeled
Year: 2019
Type: Album

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