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Issue: June 2009

Calm Down, It's an Experiment

Crumble (Independent)
Scott Benningfield/Acoustic Lighthouse Experiment

By Hunter Embry

Crumble is the third installment from Louisville native Scott Benningfield, aka the Acoustic Lighthouse Experiment. Crumble was written with the intent to persuade its listeners to relieve their pride and to dismantle the barriers within society.

The album is experimental, to say the least, a hard listen with most songs being recorded with an acoustic guitar and usually one or two random instruments. The percussion on the albums opener, "Detachment," was created from beating on coffee cans, while Benningfield sings in a proto-punk fashion over a gritty bass line, poorly played acoustic, and spurts of electric lead guitar. According to Benningfield, "Detachment" is about the angst produced by over-commercialization in today's society something the Stones struck at with "Satisfaction."

The album continues with its early-Dylan primitiveness, and Lou Reed experimentation. The vocals seem purposely rough as if to focus the reader's attention on the "message" of each track. "Crumble" doesn't start to heat up until "New Beginning Blues," a repetitive acoustic blues riff that breaks for drawn out chords and crying harmonica riffs.

"Can't you see it, the times are changing before our eyes. / Why don't you do something about it," Benningfield sings with intense melisma, swinging back and forth across the song's key. Strangely enough, Benningfield seems to channel an early Travis Meeks vocal tone with less control.

The hard Detroit basement rocker "Listening From Caves" brings forth dirty distorted rock guitar riffs, roomy drums and lost lead work, while leaving any sort of vocals behind.

Crumble hits and misses repeatedly. The tracks mentioned above, along with "Good Intentions, Bad Receptions," are equally original as the rest of "Crumble," but seem to maximize Benningfield's talents without losing structure or tightness. Take it for what it is an experiment.

Look for Benningfield's music on cdbaby.com.

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