Benjamin Wagner | The Deluxe EP

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Rock: Modern Rock Rock: Acoustic
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The Deluxe EP

by Benjamin Wagner

"A fuzz guitar blast" [Entertainment Weekly]
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Beauty
3:06 album only
2. Interstate
3:19 album only
3. Go Back To Sleep
4:53 album only
4. Ants, Ants, Ants
3:17 album only
5. ****** ****
12:59 album only


Album Notes
When Entertainment Weekly dubbed Benjamin Wagner Deluxe a "fuzz-guitar blast" after catching the band's 1998 IntelFest Mercury Lounge performance, frontman Benjamin Wagner recalls being thrilled -- but also fully aware that the band's full-on sound was not its only asset.

Beyond the poppy-bursts of distortion and driving rhythms, there are the lyrics: substantive, contemplative and melodic. Cynicism be damned, these are songs chocked full of integrity, longing, and hope.

From the opening strains of "Beauty" ("Beauty's only inches deep") through "The Deluxe EP"'s rambunctious closing title track ("I know it breaks your heart/Everything good falls apart"), the New York City-based singer/songwriter added strength is it's sensitivity.

The trio joined forces when Wagner, eager to shake five years of solo acoustic roots, traded his Takamine for a Gibson ES330 and a Marshal amp. Co-worker and bassist Jefferson Rabb suggested waiter friend Jeff Ledbetter to make the move from pouring java to pounding skins.

Wagner, Ledbetter, and Rabb entered a NYC rehearsal space in October of 1997, and Benjamin Wagner Deluxe was born. Deluxe began gigging relentlessly in November from the the East Village's Brownie's and CBGBs, to SoHo's Mercury Lounge and beyond.

The band began recording "The Deluxe EP" with Travis Pickle's Pete Min in the summer of '98, piecing together the CD's sonic assault in Min's East Side apartment studio. After mixing, Wagner repaired to Masterdisk NYC for polishing, and began the ambitious video project that is "The Deluxe EP" video. Shot guerilla-style in Times Square, Hell's Kitchen and the Meat Packing District, the mini-epic fashions Wagner as an apartment-dwelling, bike-riding, Bruce Lee-like hero.

Prior to forming Benjamin Wagner Deluxe, Wagner released two solo CDs, "Out of Your Head" [1996] and "Bloom" [1994]. He performed throughout the Northeast, opening for the likes of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dada, The Samples, The Neilds, and more.



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