PLEASE - Flensing/Grey Christmas vinyl 7"
“New Zealander Ben Spiers beds down in the UK for a couple of lo-fi blasts that recall his old drinking buddy Campbell Kneale. Flensing brews up a molten viola-led blast that takes the string-driven excursions of Tony Conrad into the garage for a tune-up, trading them in for an eviscerating slow motor burn. Meanwhile, Grey Christmas heralds the forthcoming festive season with a plaintive Pumice-like stylophone grouch that slowly fades like the feelings of fraternal goodwill on a particularly troublesome Boxing Day”
- Spencer Grady, Record Collector, i. 370, Christmas 2009.
”I was thinking flensing was the term used by fetishists for inserting ginger roots into rectums, but then I remembered that’s figging. Flensing has to do with stripping blubber off whales. Glad I checked! Regardless, the new release by Ben Spiers (New Zealand native transplanted to Oxfordshire) is a winning combination of viola scree, spiderleg guitar and thin key weevil, with non-intrusive, but charming Velvetsy overtones. Not a whiff of ginger anywhere”.
- Byron Coley, The Wire, i. 309, November 2009.
“Noisy one-man-band squall over viola drone and guitar fuckery on the A-side, which may or may not excite you. Having heard plenty of records by A Handful of Dust, I wasn’t particularly excited, frankly. The label says to play at 33, but 45 sorta sounded better. B-side goes into “quiet, please” territory, and I’m not sure that’s much more of a thrill, either. This single left not much of an impression at all, and if the label didn’t have such a goofy name, I’d probably forget it in the middle of writing this review. Further research reveals that it’s a product of a New Zealander (Ben Spiers, of Glory Fckn Sun – Ed.) 250 copies.”
- Joel Hunt, Still Single vol. 6, no. 1, in Dusted, 14 January 2010.
“We may assume that the Ben Spiers who is behind Smokers Please is the same Ben Spiers we reviewed back in Vital Weekly 634, with his CDR for Transient Recordings. He moved (perhaps temporarily) to the UK from a land down under and now calls himself Smokers Please (please what? smokers please don't smoke please? or smokers please come over?). Spiers still plays guitar, viola and stylophone, which in 'Flensing' results in a vicious, loud and dirty drone, whereas 'Grey Christmas' starts out with simple strumming which continues throughout the entire piece, but with a guitar wailing through a fuzz/distortion box underneath. Both pieces seem to me the result of improvisation, as before. But opposed to his previous CDR release 'And Then', Ben keeps things well under control here. The 7" format is perhaps not the best to get a good impression of what a musician can do, and for the music of the likes of Spiers its perhaps too concise, but in this very case it works well. Two slabs of around five or so minutes gives the listener a solid idea of what Spiers can do. The sound quality is what one can expect from the lands down under: not great, but raw and noisy”.
- Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly, n. 694, 1 September 2009.