Start at the Beginning

by Ben Averch

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about

START AT THE BEGINNING is testament to the composing genius that is Ben Averch. Ben has added to his music what few others in the prog-related world focus enough on - a rich, well developed sense of melody. The result is good meat for musicians, with plenty of tasty twists and turns, but also an album that is exceptionally listenable. You'll find yourself humming the well-crafted choruses long after your first listen; they're pleasantly catchy.

Ben's unique voice works very well with this material, and his sense of harmony shines through on some very well executed backing vocals. At times, he brings to mind a certain flavor of Geoff Tate (Queensryche). The guitar work is superb, making ample use of arpeggios that always seem to fit just right.

Tracks that really shine through are "Two Places at Once", "It Ain't Me", "Out of My Reach" (this reviewer's personal favorite), and "What Holds us Together".

This CD is a must-have for anyone who might appreciate a modern approach to rock, with a good portion of 80s pop sensibilities (think Rush from Power Windows meets Yes from 90215, with a touch of The Police from Synchronicity, but updated for the new millennium).

-- Jeremy Race

credits

released 01 April 2008

Ben Averch: drums, bass, guitars, vocals, keyboards, loops

Produced and engineered by Ben Averch

Recorded and engineered by Ben Averch at BaverchNW Studios, Sammamish WA May 2006 - April 2008

Mastered by John McCaig at panicStudios, Seattle WA March - April 2008

Special assistance and objective ear by Mike Averch

Art direction by Ben Averch
Photography by Tom Hanser
Cover art by Anonymous

Thanks to my family, for your love and patience.
Alycia, I love you always.

Ben Averch plays Paul Reed Smith guitars.

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Track Name: Two Places at Once
I'm here but I'm not really here
The wind blows through me like a ghost
All that I can think about
Is where I want to be the most
In between two worlds at once
Falling through an endless void
One side, the life we know
The other, truth I can't avoid

Two places at once, I'm falling between
Two places at once

When you see me standing near
I might as well be gone
Cos I can't even see your face
Or hear the words of your song
I don't have a blueprint
I don't have a map
I don't have a way to spring the trap

It's worse than a heartbreak
When it's only in your mind
Drunk on imagination
Leaves nothing to find
Then comes the daybreak
Same place, same time
Light floods in memories
That won't leave me behind
Track Name: It Ain't Me
Under a microscope, I can see myself now, disintegrating
Under lock and key, can I free myself somehow by deviating

It ain't me, it ain't me
I'm not the one to set you free, no
It ain't me, no

What does it mean to be the picture of your expectations?
There's no way I can explain, this wasn't preordained But we know the ending

It ain't me, it ain't me
I'm not the one to set you free, no
I need to find myself lost, no matter what the cost
Cos it ain't me, it ain't me, no

Forget about the rules, I don't mean to be so cruel
It's incomprehensible
If I should disappear, fulfill my greatest fear
Is it inescapable?

It ain't me, it ain't me
I'm not the one to set you free, no
I need to find myself lost, no matter what the cost 'Cos it ain't me, it ain't me, no
Buried under the snow, wherever love may go
It ain't me, it ain't me, no
Without a word to pretend, beginnings need an ending
It ain't me, it ain't me, no
Track Name: Start at the Beginning
To fall in love is a beautiful thing
No matter what, no matter what it brings
The visions come in coursing streams
Flying away, my chance to be redeemed

I don't have to curse my name
I don't have to go insane
Dragging me down by my heart

What could be is all I see
The sun through the trees, it ain't reaching me
What could wake me up or set me free
When the wind on my face, it ain't touching me

I don't have to curse my name
I don't have to go insane
Dragging me down by my heart
Am I awake or still asleep
Burning bright or six feet deep
Dragging me down by my heart

Where'd you go now
I'm only here and I don't know how
What does it mean to be
Starting back at the beginning again
Track Name: The Source of Love
Everytime I wake up, it's the same
The rain is pouring down all over me
And when I think I'm burning through the clouds
Storms are rolling up on the horizon

In a silent morning
The space for me to be reborn
In a blinding rainstorm
The space where everything is transformed
Can my world stop spinning
Can I find my way to the beginning
'Cos I know I'm missing
The love that's at the core of my existence

Everytime I'm flying down the highway
I can feel the places left behind
And when I think I've reached my destination
How come I never feel like I arrive

Pass through me / Renew me / Define me / Align me to the source of love
Track Name: Out of My Reach
Do you believe that I can sleep and I can't think straight
And when I finally drift off, I see your face
Like a wave that's crashed on me, and I'm upside down
And I can't even remember how to turn around

You're out of my reach, but even the reaching's wrong
My heart is pulling me down
I've come off the spinning wheel
'Cos when I see you there ain't nothing else to feel

Do you believe that I can't see two feet in front of me
Twisting me up 'cos what I want can never be
It's like I'm out on the ocean, and there's no dry land
I want you to pull me under, when you take my hand

You're out of my reach

I had everything I needed before I knew what I could see
It's all I can imagine just to see where we could be
You see through me
Track Name: Creative Destruction
Forest fires raging in my heart
Everything I've built is torn apart
And you know I'll never be the same
As the picture hanging in the frame

Creative destruction bringing new life from what there was
Without hope there can't be any way to see what could be

Black smoke engulfing all I see
Wind whips the flames when you look at me
No words can say what this means
Regenerate this in memory

Opening the canopy to let light in
From this sea of ashes you'll begin
Open up to every possibility
From this smoking darkness you can see the sun
Track Name: Love From the World
Nobody told you not to keep it all inside
And hold all your sadness against the world outside
The things that are hurting you will never go away
The only solution is to give up and away

I know you never know
I've seen that undertow
Take you away
I've seen those icicles stick through your heart
They'll fade away

You can't cling too tightly to the gifts you've been bestowed
Cos if the world wants to, you know that it'll free, free 'em from your hold
And the things that are always hurting you
You know they'll never, ever go away
The only solution is to give up and away

Give up your hopes and dreams
Give up your everything
Give them away
I don't want anything
I don't need anything
Love from the world
Love from the world
When you can't find nothing left
When you can't find nothing left
Track Name: Hope Anchor
Come up from the bottom, climb up on the chain
Come up to the surface again and again
And in the faraway distance, I see a glittering light
And a wind that blows me away to a deep dark night

No matter what I say, it all means the same
I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't cling to you

Then when the storm falls and the rain's coming down
You know I saw it all coming, I couldn't turn it around
I don't know how it got started, I don't know how this could be
Now everything is in free fall, for what it means to me

No matter what I say, it all means the same
I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't cling to you
And when the winds collide, you are my place to hide
Out on the open sea maybe you can find me

I can't see anything anymore
I've lost my sightline to the shore
You're my way back on to where I belong
My waiting hope anchor
Track Name: Pure Energy
Never knowing is the answer
Never needing is the cure
Always beginning is our true state
Always yielding to what's pure

It's pure energy, your true heart
It's pure energy, this new start
In waves of red and gold
I feel your soul fly through me
In undulating light between the sky and sea

In a fight for freedom that I need to win
In a quest for victory over the state I'm in
I'm going deeper than the surface waves
To the ocean floor where no light escapes

I don't need to remember where I've been
I don't need to know anything
When I feel your arms around me
When I feel I'm pure energy
Track Name: The Nothing Shines Through
When I feel I'm falling
And the water's rising up to meet me
And there's no one I can talk to
About the pain in life that's gonna defeat me
Is there anyway to turn back
And take another look at the landscape
Before diving through a frozen lake
Cos between my hands it's the world I make

The nothing shines through
The solid world just comes unglued
And the life I try so hard to build
Illusions that I can't fulfill

Did you ever stop to wonder
How things take on a shape of their own
And everything we started
By bringing life to the unknown
Is there room left to maneuver
Cos I feel like I've been cast in stone
And I hope to God you're with me
Cos I don't want to face it alone

The nothing shines through
The distance between me and you
Falling shy of all my dreams
Is tearing me right at the seams

In your arms is where I want to be
When I see clearly you are all I see
Wide open to the world
Wide open to the world
Wide open

The nothing shines through
Track Name: My Darling Ruin
I want to do something I'll regret
I want to go somewhere and try to forget
One more straw to break my back
One look away from a heart attack

I don't know where I'm headed and I can't look up
I don't know what I need, but it's all fucked up without you

It's not what I expected to find
The life that I'd perfected in my mind
One more step from where I could be
One more day slipping away from me

I don't what I'm doing but I can't back up
Everything I want to be is all fucked up without you

Every day I want to believe I can start anew
Every time I try to forget where you are
My darling ruin
Track Name: When You Were Born
When you were born, I felt the world change
Everything drew into range
Now my life is changed forever
And we are held together
When you were born, I felt the world change

Time stops, feeling life expand
Light glows in interwoven strands
I feel it overwhelming me
Tapped in to the soul of eternity

When you were born, I saw the sun rise
Over secret worlds behind your eyes
Although your words are voiceless
I can feel their nearness
When you were born, I saw the sun rise

Out on the road that's before us
I'm gonna seek out a place for us
I feel like there's no boundary
Tapped in to the soul of eternity

Anywhere time's gonna find us
These are the ties that will bind us
And in the life that you build
Will be my destiny fulfilled
Track Name: You Can Only Feel
Sometimes in the daylight I can see everything
The tops of the trees, concentric rings
Underneath the static I can feel the transformation
Sometimes in the shadows I can't feel anything
The void of the sky, the emptiness so full of life
Underneath the tension I can feel my soul escaping

You can only feel what you let yourself feel
You can only see what you want to believe

Sometimes in the starlight I can feel gravity
The pull of distant planets is as heavy as the earth
Underneath the motion is the stillness of creation

It's a wide-eyed stare, it's the life you dare
It's overstimulation
It's the driving force, ultraviolet source
It's solar radiation
Track Name: What Holds Us Together
What holds us together is the sideways rain
No matter how much falls behind us we remain
I've been too long in the world of the unreal
Baby, I been sleeping at the wheel

If love is a river that's flooding through me
Then I don't know where it goes if it can't run free

What holds us together are the wind-bowed trees
Digging their roots into our souls' identities
How can I tell you, tell you what it means
To be always bursting at the seams

What's holding us together
In the sweat of a fever dream
What's holding us together
I been bursting at the seams