Our Undivided Attention, the forthcoming album from Nashville-based rock band Benchmarks, represents the culmination of four years of evolution by a band that has searched for an identity of its own in a town with a storied musical history. The album delivers 43 solid minutes of utterly sincere, hook-laden rock and roll, mixed by Jay Maas (Defeater, Transit, Polar Bear Club, Make Do And Mend) and produced by the band themselves.
Benchmarks vocalist Todd Farrell Jr. (who also pulls double duty as the lead guitarist for the band Two Cow Garage) says “This is the record that I’ve always wanted to make. It’s a little punk, but it isn’t a punk record. It rocks, but it isn’t just a rock record either. It has in-your-face guitar solos, but it also has a kind of quiet vulnerability. Lyrically, it deals with the anxiety around growing up and struggling to embrace the responsibilities that go with it. It was a very cathartic process for all of us, and I’m very proud of what we’ve created.”
Farrell’s intense ADD is the subject matter for the album’s first single “Frames,” how doing many things at once can often sacrifice quality and relationships. The song “Let You Down” makes us realize we could try a little harder to be kinder to one another, while “Girls and Boys” takes a Kerouac look at the modern world of dating and hooking up.
Our Undivided Attention immediately follows The American Night EP, released in June 2015, which hinted at the sound being forged by the band. The EP was positively reviewed by fans and critics and received radio play on local Nashville rock station 102.9 The Buzz as well as Sirius XM channel The Loft. Prior to The American Night EP, the band released its first full-length album, All Our Heroes Live In Vans, in October 2013 under the name Todd Farrell Jr. & The Dirty Birds. While the band has moved on stylistically since that release, several tracks live on through the Benchmarks live shows, including fan favorite “Pawnshops.”