Here's Robert's review, translated from the original German by the esteemed Dr. Michael Koch, Visiting Instructor of German at Marquette University (and a damn fine drummer):
Bygones is the fifth and probably last work of the band of Mike Benign (of Umbrella Man, Arms & Legs & Feet, Blue In The Face, and Allen Keller), who is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The quartet offers a special work as its presumable close: Bygones is an album that should be enjoyed with headphones (which I did) and that contains a couple musical Easter eggs (even though it is Christmas time) – so listen up!
Even without headphones, you can tell that The Mike Benign Compulsion has a gift for crafting accessible pop songs that shine thanks to their deep, deeply moving, and deeply ironic lyrics.
The opening track from these admitted fans of Squeeze and Crowded House, “Beauty & Pedigree & Bank,” makes it clear that one can achieve anything provided one has the requisite looks, connections, and bank accounts. Unfortunately, Mike Benign and his fellow musicians noticed this fact too late. On “Let It Rain Or Let It Be,” which has hints of ELO and The Beatles, the band admits: “Yeah, I’m guilty of these crimes: / the sickest beats, the dopest rhymes. / Man, we live in crazy times / I love them.” I think there are a few bands that Mike Benign and his compatriots surpass, wouldn’t you agree? On “These Heroes,” a bit folksy and gentle, the band sings of musical heroes, who were not always perfect.
Near the end, the four gentlemen consider the “End of the World Kind of Feeling.” This can, of course, be understood on many levels. This pop song, enriched with horns, leaves listeners with a tear in one eye and a smile in the other. As a whole, Bygones tends more towards the smile.