Ben Richman embodies the 90s indie rock slacker ethos on the fuzzed-out hazy ways of “Journey to a Dead End.” There is a loveliness to the balance from the production values that help cover the whole thing in a warm sheen to the lyrics that feature shaggy dog tales with such poignancy. Guitar riffs are chosen with care, for he accurately and effectively sculpts infectious hooks to the work. Every track plays off the last resulting in this laid-back, chilled-out atmosphere. Elements of the work harken back to Pavement’s most dazed tracks, for there is a kindness, a tenderness that is explored in full.

“Oh No” starts off energetically in a Guided By Voices sort of style, as the driving rhythm alongside the smile-inducing lyricism hits just right. Drums speed again with “Dumb,” the vocals here possess a tremendous earnestness. Full of a revelatory spirit, there is a graciousness to it. Easily the highlight of the album comes from the tremendous outpouring of emotion that is “The Shadows of What You Said.” Flawlessly constructed, making sure to be perfectly in sync. A nice continuation of the reflective vibe “Snake Oil Shows” has a thoughtfulness. Vocals swim through the din on the introspective “Broken Hearts Club”. A nice surprise comes from the raw grit and soul of the unplugged “Kingdom Come”. With a hint of the blues, “Journey to a Dead End” brings the whole journey to an end.

“Journey to a Dead End” shows off the exquisite skill of Ben Richman in crafting a project that is totally hard to ignore. We can only see this talented artist move up from here.

Link to the album: