By: Eric G.
Eiffel Tower is the moniker Ben Wheelock uses to create relatively catchy pop songs infused with a stripped down guitar/bass interplay. Slightly distorted keyboard lines add a much-needed tension to the subtle riffs. Wheelock’s voice sounds uncannily like Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth- strained and angst-ridden. Wheelock plays all of the instruments himself, but this record does not have an overbearingly claustrophobic feel like most one-man bands, though it does lack a certain spark.
Everything here is reasonably straightforward and simplistic. Tight yet restrained drumbeats scuttle behind the clean and poppy guitars. Wheelock rarely lets loose. His songs all tend to be driving and repetitive. No tricky changes or anything too showy to bog down the oft repeated choruses. His overuse of vocal overdubs causes problems, occasionally, making his songs seem unnecessarily cluttered. “Off Again” and “Cannibalized” are the best songs, combining simple melodies and tight hooks with well-crafted vocals, but the rest of the record lacks those songs’ ingenuity.
Wheelock is evidently getting a band together to take Eiffel Tower on the road. Perhaps, these songs will translate better in a live setting as opposed to the confines of an apartment, where these songs were recorded.