Thursday 26 December 2019

BUZZURD ~ JOIN THE WAKE ..... review

From the Lone Star State comes a sound almost as big as region it was birthed, a sound  that is doomic dank and dark and deals lyrically with issues we sometimes might not want to face up to, issues of the mind, both mental and physical. The orchestrators of this sound are a four piece combo,
Richard Loew (vocals); Daniel Anderson (guitar); Ryan James (bass) and Colin Drake (drums), who call themselves Buzzurd, three of whom are Texans and one an Englishman born in Bow, East London. The quartet jam a groove that blends elements of stoner rock's heavy fuzziness with elements of traditional doom's bleak dank atmospherics and in doing so create a sound that is as raucous as it is expansive, a sound that can be experienced first hand by spinning their latest EP "Join The Wake"

Desert Psychlist has had some experience dealing with the subject of  Buzzurd's first track on "Join The Wake", "Dementia" so the lyrics, seemingly taken from the perspective of a sufferer, somewhat resonate with us. "Within myself imprisoned" sings Loew in rich clean tones over a backdrop dominated by James thundering bass and anchored by Drake's drums, the percussionists clever use of cymbals giving the song an underlying shimmer not usually associated with music of a more doomic nature. Anderson's guitar initially takes somewhat of a backseat on this track, the guitarist mostly content to support the bass with crunching chordal work but on the rare occasions he does step into the spotlight, letting rip with a searing solo or a swirling motif, he takes things to a whole new level of doomic delight. "Eyes of Madness" follows and deals with that more visceral, violent side of mental instability, here we find  Anderson's guitar taking a much more prominent role, the guitarist breaking through James and Drake's huge wall of rhythmic groove to compliment Loew's impassioned vocal with searing lead breaks and tasteful chordal colouring. "The Hunt" turns up the heat a notch or two and finds Loew adding a little gnarly grittiness to his tone while Drake, James and Anderson counter this by laying down a groove that alternates between heavy old school doom and classic heavy metal albeit with an element of alt/metal twitchiness thrown in for good measure. "Babylon River" closes proceedings and finds the band hitting into a groove that if it wasn't for brief episodes of doomic dankness could easily be confused as being pure stoner rock.

Buzzurd are a band treading fine lines, a fine line between traditional doom and old school metal, a fine line between stoner rock and its metallic stonerized cousin and a fine line between being bright and raucous and being dark and atmospheric. It is this dichotomy of dynamics that actually works in Buzzurd's favour, they are not one thing or the other but all of those things together, an amalgamation of metallic old school swagger and new school gnarliness all fused together in one gloriously schitzophrenic but totally enjoyable whole.
Check 'em out …..

© 2019 Frazer Jones

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