Ben Craven: Last Chance To Hear album review

Third album from Australian all-rounder Ben Craven – now with added William Shatner.

TODO alt text

Following on from the highly-rated Great & Terrible Potions, Australian multi-instrumentalist Ben Craven delivers his third album with a concept loosely based on the end of the recording industry. Craven handles all of the instruments and vocals here, with one significant caveat – through producer Billy Sherwood, he has managed to draft in William Shatner on vocals for the eight-minute epic Spy In The Sky Part 3. Overall, the album differs from its predecessor in that it features fewer vocals, and more of a willingness to let the music carry itself, which it does admirably.

There are sprightly moments, such as the jaunty opening title track and the concise Revenge Of Dr Komodo, but the real meat here lies in the multi-part piece, that aforementioned Spy In The Sky (bizarrely, Part 1 comes later than Parts 2 and 3). Totalling 18 minutes, this triumvirate delivers all of the drama and gravitas you could want, leavened beautifully by some light and shade. It’s Shatner’s performance which will grab the headlines, however, but thankfully he delivers a hugely credible vocal, full of dramatic, Jim Morrison-style sturm und drang. It’s the crowning centrepiece of a fine album.