Originally released in October 2009, 'I Got the Pox, the Pox is What I Got' is the debut EP from cult musician and misanthrope Benjamin Shaw. Billed as "six and a half songs of nausea, noise and hilarious anecdote" and accompanied by a pair of grisly music videos, Shaw's polarising sound was introduced to independent music audiences around the world through BBC airplay, reviews kind and cruel and a slew of live shows which saw the introverted Shaw slip between transcendent and petrified.
Though greater acclaim (and polarisation) would come with the introduction of deeper dissonance, nihilism, electronics and sparsity on releases like "Megadead", "Rumfucker", "There's Always Hope, There's Always Cabernet", this debut was the perfect calling card for a singer-songwriter who wanted nothing to do with his own genre. His contempt for the form he's working within can be heard throughout fan favourites like "When I Fell Over in the City" and the ten minute title track.
One of the things I'm most proud of with running this tiny label is seeing Shaw's evolution. He has built his sound up and broken it back down so many times since 2009 but his work is always captivating, strange and beautiful.
This remastered release comes packed with an additional five recordings, including a lo-fi cover of Nosferatu D2's holiday classic "It's Christmas Time" (For God's Sake) (nosferatud2.bandcamp.com/album/were-gonna-walk-around-this-city-with-our-headphones-on-to-block-out-the-noise
) and two stripped down live recordings, which are wonderful for comparison with Shaw's 2019 "Live donaufestival" album (bnjmnshw.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-donaufestival
) in terms of witnessing how he has eschewed the inherited self-limitation of his genre.
Video for 'When I Fell Over in the City'
Video for 'The Carpeteer'
Original EP - bnjmnshw.bandcamp.com/album/i-got-the-pox-the-pox-is-what-i-got-ep
Press for the 2009 release:
"Benjamin Shaw succeeds at drawing you right inside his world. An audience of one. It’s an admirably, almost brazenly, honest and personal performance. Somehow nonchalant and intense at the same time. It could even be unnerving if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s so utterly enchanting...I Got The Pox, The Pox Is What I Got is a lovely, strange, fragile thing, and introduces Benjamin Shaw as one of the most exciting new songwriters out there today." - The Line of Best Fit
"Quite beautiful." - Subba Cultcha
"Fastidiously DIY in sound...A ‘name’ for 2010." - God is in The TV
"Underground notoriety beckons - 8/10." - Rock Pulse
Up there with the best of this year...on the 'to watch' list for 2010 - 8/10." - The Music Fix
"An alternative idol in waiting..." - Fractions Of One
"Defiantly ramshackle. The only fear is that Shaw's style may fail to attract the attention it deserves." -
"A 'singer-songwriter' who obviously isn't happy with the connotations that tag would bestow upon him. He's fighting to find his own voice in a sea of tepid waters soiled by the likes of Jame's Morrison and Blunt." - Tasty Fanzine
"Pools of buzzing synths, effects and distorted cries. Like a nightmare Mark Linkous may even have rejected from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ for being a little too ‘ominous’." - Americana UK
"His lyrics are delivered flat so they stick in your soul like a stake...dangerous but completely seductive. Benjamin Shaw is a one-man wall in a dark alleyway of sound, and I’ll be looking out for him - 9/10." - Music Emissions
"Benjamin vocal's are very distinct and a whole host of adjectives can be used to try and describe them but it's almost impossible to do so - 4/5." - Tracks Monkey
"Defiantly lo-fi values cloak soul baring singer-songwriterliness as if essayed at the end of a very long and uncomfortably active night, throwing everything off course with electronic layers, noises and the inscrutability of his lyrical worldview." - Sweeping The Nation