There is no subtly to Ben Sommer’s self-released america’d and the first song “Adult Children” sums up much of Sommer’s ideals. Although rather shrewdly mixed and produced, america’d has the energy and humor to carry itself through the album. The compositions are relatively simple but the lyrics support the edginess that Sommer’s website describes the albums as.
The angst in the songs is apparent, but the songs happen to feel repetitive as the album progresses, although the lyrics do continue to have a humorous melody throughout (“Little Hitlers” is a standout track). The mix allows all the instruments to be well heard, however it is only the vocals that have the dynamic range (a compliment indeed), the rest of the instruments feel pushed back.
The Zappa influence is apparent but Ben Sommer’s material is solely original, and the DIY mentality keeps the ideals consistent allowing the album to maintain its lyrical integrity. With time, Ben Sommer and his angsty political prog rock could prove to be a sleeper cult act.