CONTINUED FROM PART ONE....
This leaves the three reproduced Beryl Court album tracks, If I Fall, Everybody Else and Black & Blue. All three of these will always be great to me as these were a huge excitement when I heard them the first time. This time around they are enhanced with great production value and harnesses what I liked about Tristan in the first place. If I Fall is probably my most favorite on the album.
During my time with this self-titled gem I was reminded of the greats of the 90’s Pop Rock scene such as Gin Blossoms, Oleander, Jesus Jones and Better than Ezra. It’s certainly a nice change of pace for what is overcrowding the scene today. I really think Friends With Benz has some solid hits here. There is such magic in the songs when they come together! 7 times on this album I was hit with that good ol’ summertime feeling of wanting to get out and have a blast with friends while turning up the radio! I will definitely add some of these songs to my go-to playlist. I am so glad Tristan decided to push forward and it amazes me what the music is like with a professionally produced sound. I’m honestly smiling here as it is always nice to see someone I admire take a big, awesome step towards a dream and it turning out so well. Why do I admire him? I admire anyone who keeps pushing forward fueling a dream with passion and turning their back to discouragement.
Although I definitely do not associate their style with what I would think “Liquid Rock” would mean (I personally think of Linkin Park when I hear the term) I can’t speak for everyone. Take away the three songs with a Bruno Mars reminder and we have an excellent debut album! You definitely owe it to yourself if you appreciate actual good rock that relies more on heart than overproduction. Tristan and his boys have found a happy match to the musicians within and deliver it in spades! Turn this album up to an 8 on the volume knob!
Daniel C. Morrison – Founder of Hip Rock Magazine, Co-Founder of Alternative Revolt Magazine
This just in - a very satisfying album review of the"Friends With Benz" debut Part One: Friends With Benz – Self Titled Album Released on 9-25-2015 Style- rock/pop rock Location – Dallas/Fort Worth Texas Website - Friendswithbenz.com
About two years ago I met an aspiring songwriter who had passion, a humble nature and skill. Based on those qualities I reviewed his music and really felt like he could pull off some great feats if he were to have his music produced in a professional studio. At that time his group was known as Beryl Court. Here we are now with his professionally produced sound. Let’s meet Tristan Bugenis (vocals, guitar) and his crew: Alexander Buxton (lead guitar, vocals), Nick Caldwell (Bass, vocals) and Matt Hackney (Drums, vocals).
Friends With Benz self-titled album brings 10 tunes to your ears, 3 being from the Beryl Court era and 7 new ones to showcase the growth and life between then and now. They claim to have coined the term “Liquid Rock” due to the genre span they cover when mixing their originals with covers to please more of a variety of crowds and venues. Knowing Tristan’s excellent, smooth voice I can see them easily pulling this off.
The album opens up with My Devotion and honestly, this was a bit of a put off to me. I was instantly reminded of Bruno Mars and although it had a catch to it I must say I didn’t care for it. Later on, Forever Be Ours and All of These Things would play and remind me of Bruno Mars as well but not in a way that turned me off as much. Fortunately, there was more rock flair to the other two songs.
Luckily, Strange Girl was second on the album and I absolutely loved the beauty of the song from its structure and smooth transitions to style and great lyrics. Track 9, Desire, would match this type of catchy beauty and be on my mind long after I finished the album.
I'll touch base now on the song "Not Sorry". This is one of those tunes where repetition makes it stick. The message is familiar as Tristan calls out the obvious pain we usually feel, that the other person just simply isn't sorry for what they've done to us. The chorus is what will drive this song and although I prefer a few others over this one I sense that the coming together of all the parts of this song will be one of the hits people will talk about and spread.
Friends With Benz ended with a damn good catchy track titled Call On Me. My God, this is a great song blending rock with a style from the 80’s, a bit of Faith No More lyrical flair from the 90’s and Jesus Jones style while maintaining a modern style Pop Rock. This song definitely rocks and is worth repeating several times!
Daniel C. Morrison – Founder of Hip Rock Magazine, Co-Founder of Alternative Revolt Magazine) CONTINUED PART TWO
Part 2 of Tristan's interview with Daniel Morrison of Hip Rock Magazine: Daniel/HRM: Do you feel it’s hard to have an attractive look in the music business and keep a trustworthy relationship? Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: Not at all. I think that really comes down to individuals. Just because a pretty girl is talking to me, doesn’t mean I’m going to go home with her, or even have any interest in her. If I’m single it doesn’t mean I won’t either….just kidding. For me, if I’m in a “relationship” it will be for the right reasons, and shouldn’t even be an issue. Also, I think that if there’s no trust, it’s not a good relationship anyway. Daniel/HRM: What other types of artistic things do you do other than music? Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: I’m one hell of a doodler. I also do some acting here and there. I still dance on occasion when the right song and dance partner present themselves. Daniel/HRM: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: Nothing I can really think of. Although, I do want to thank you for taking the time to give our music a listen and want to share it with the world. It means a lot… Daniel/HRM: It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for being part of our Hip Rock Gallery. The woman love your look. And, in this day and age I suppose some guys do too, ha! Take care! Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: (laughs). Thank you! And I don’t see a problem with as many people liking me as possible; hopefully they’ll like my music, too. Daniel C. Morrison – Hip Rock Magazine
Tristan had an opportunity to chat with Daniel Morrison of Hip Rock Magazine. Enjoy Part 1 of 2: THE INTERVIEW Daniel/HRM: Please introduce yourself and tell me if you drew a lot of rainbows or stick men when you were a kid. Tristan Bugenis: I remember drawing a lot of stick men, but I don’t recall drawing many rainbows. My grandmother is an artist so she had us drawing shapes with shadows and other color nuances at a relatively young age. I did a lot of swords and daggers dripping blood. Daniel/HRM: I guess by now you know I love those odd questions. But let’s get into image. You have a good look, easily enough. How important do you believe a “look” is in the music business? Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: Thank you. I believe “look” is very important in the music business. I wish it wasn’t, but I think that’s the reality of it. A lot of people will get written off just because they don’t “look” a certain way. It isn’t always the “model” or “good” look that the music marketers are demanding. Sometimes that cliché look seems to be the expectation – long hair and ink for rock bands, cowboy hats with short cuts for country, spikes and fluorescent colors for punk and then over-bling (or over-blung?) look for rappers … I just hope I don’t run into that in the future. I would rather just present myself as is and let the music matter. Daniel/HRM: Is this something you have naturally or did you have to work real hard to have a healthy body? Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: I’ve never had to work real hard to look the way I do. I have a very high metabolism so I can eat and eat and eat, but not gain any weight. According to people in the know, I never even had baby fat and was always above normal height and below normal weight. I have to work out some, but who doesn’t? I do like being athletic but that comes from years of playing sports and dance…I was always moving. Daniel/HRM: Did you ever feel persuaded to check out or avoid a song due to the appearance of the band, especially the lead singer? Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: I haven’t, but I couldn’t tell you what most of the bands I like look like anyway. I just listen to the music…sometimes I like it, and sometimes I don’t. I do have to admit when I see guys in bands we are playing with walk in wearing make-up, they have to work a little harder to impress me. Daniel/HRM: When it’s time for you to chill what is your normal wardrobe? Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: Shorts, t-shirt, maybe a hoodie or sweatpants. That’s when the athlete in me comes out and I just get as comfortable as I can. Daniel/HRM: Do you dress differently when not doing music? Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: No, not really. The only thing I do differently when on-stage is I try to wear shirts that don’t have a lot of writing on them. I’m not sure why though. Maybe from my film background where writing/logos are discouraged. Daniel/HRM: Nice. A film background? Too cool! Are you a single guy or do you have a squeeze that supports you and shares those tender moments with? Tristan Bugenis/Beryl Court: I’m currently single. I’m not anti-relationship though. It just doesn’t make sense to me to commit to someone unless it’s going to last a little while. Why deal with break-ups when I can have fun with whoever, whenever. Until I find a girl that I’m ok with giving up that freedom for, I’ll stay single.
All performers want to...PERFORM, duh. Tristan and Matt did a show at Diamond Jim's in Arlington, Tx that was streamed live by ANCtv.us (America's Night Club). It was a great show from the other bands to the crowd who sang and danced along. And here's the show so you can enjoy it as well. (The music starts at about 15:15 but you can watch them set up if you want to see how all that is done...)
Go check it out...Friends with Benz is the 2nd video from the top... http://new.livestream.com/accounts/191568/events/2877131/videos/46608752