I’m a big Punk fan. TOP BUZZER are billed as a ‘punk’ band. So why has it taken me so long to get round to writing up his review? It should be easy! It should be a straight forward case of: ‘It’s Punk; it’s good / excellent / exciting.’
But I’ve been procrastinating like there’s no tomorrow. See, no matter how many times I listen to ‘Outside Is A World,’ I still feel somewhat unfulfilled. And the worst of it is … I’m not really sure why that is!
It could be that it lacks the aggressive style that I prefer my punk music to adopt. But TOP BUZZER go the other way and like some of the New Wave bands of ’78 incorporate a bit of ‘cheeky’ geezer type humour. So that shouldn’t be enough reason to dislike the album.
Well – ‘dislike’ is a bit strong. I don’t actually ‘dislike’ it per se – I just can’t get right into it.
And I wonder if it’s due to an inconsistency of content?
There are some little gems amongst the eleven tracks here. Recent single ‘Remission,’ is one. The drumming is more up front as it should be in old-school punk songs, and the vocals have a little ‘snarl’ and bite about them as the guitar zips up and down throughout.
‘You’re So Good You’re Great,’ is another. It’s straight out of the Screeching Weasel book of song writing, with bass-lines that remind me of Choking Susan from Detroit. In fact, this is probably the best track on the album.
‘Deeply Shallow,’ is pretty catchy too. (I’m a bit confused by this one. I thought it familiar when I listened on the album, and then after a bit searching around discovered that I’d previously stumbled across the video for the track … but produced by the lads under the name of Buck Brothers. I’ve posted it below.)
There’s also great cover of M’s ‘Pop Muzic,’ given a sort of Dickies treatment. ‘Wake Up Call,’ may not exactly fit my personal definition of ‘punk,’ but it builds in a slight ska-punk drumming style and has a catchy, gang-shouted chorus that will be a sure-fire ‘live’ favourite.
I’m conscious that as I write this I’m identifying several reasons as to why I should like this album, and not very many as to I think it falls short.
So maybe for once I’m flummoxed! There are a few tracks that simply lack substance in my view; where the band seem to playing more for the humorous lyrics rather than promote their musical ability. But then I guess if I were to get it out my head that this is a ‘punk’ album and more a ‘pop’ album, then maybe …..
Ach! Look – this IS a good album. It should be GREAT. Maybe I just think that punk a la The Vandals has had its day. But I DO think TOP BUZZER will still have theirs.
(Released through Back2Forward Records on 18th July 2011)
(7.5 / 10)