In 2008, the three members of Ben Folds Five (yes, we know) reunited onstage for the first time in almost a decade to perform their third and final album, 1999’s widely underrated The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. Since then, singer-pianist and songwriter Ben Folds has soldiered on without his North Carolina-born band, releasing fourth proper solo album Way to Normal later in 2008 and a collaborative album with High Fidelity author Nick Hornby, Lonely Avenue, in 2010. But now, at long last, Ben Fold Five is reuniting once again. Show me the mosh pit.
Last night, Folds tweeted a photo of himself with fuzztone-wielding bassist Robert Sledge and hard-hitting drummer Darren Jessee. He wrote, “It’s happening fo sho – Day 1 in studio with Robert and Darren through March #NewBenFoldsFiveRecord.” That’s right, in 2012 we announce our big news using catchphrases from Superbad geek-stud McLovin. (Did I mention, “Oscar-nominated actor Jonah Hill”? He was really good, though!)
In a separate tweet, Folds added, “Spring release.” An exact date remains to be seen. So does whether the reunion album will live up to the unflinching observational songwriting and ramshackle, punk-spirited, scene-skewering piano-pop that originally propelled the group to acclaim. In any event, given the glut of ’90s indie-rock influences and reunion tours on display in recent years, Ben Folds’ re-Five-ification could hardly come at a better time. Here’s one angry dwarf and two solemn faces: