In the course of the last thirty years, there isn’t too much that Buzz Osborne hasn’t done. He has maintained a prolific career with the various incarnations of The Melvins and Fantômas. This is the first time however that has truly set out on his own, under the King Buzzo moniker, and the result is this seventeen-track effort and, just to make things a little different, the man who made so much noise over the years has toned things down and gone acoustic.
Opener ‘Dark Brown Teeth’ was originally released to accompany a short tour of US record stores. After this the album quickly develops a sound that although very different to anything Buzz has released previously, it has a familiarity that should appeal to fans of any of his previous work. Amphetamine Reptile records recently released a video for the track ‘The Vulgar Joke’ with the accompanying line that “you’re not supposed to do that to an acoustic guitar” and that is exactly what Buzz is all about. This is an album that may be lacking in outright noise and chaos, but still has that anarchic, discordant, heavy sound that he has made his trademark.
Osborne’s vocals are also given more prevalence with the songs minimalist approach, leaving behind his trademark snarl and concentrating on his distinctive singing voice. This makes the lyrics more legible and shows off the albums dark sense of humour. There are moments during tracks such as “Useless Kings Of Punk’ and ‘How I Became Offensive’ that shows a very self deprecating approach and show a few different sides to his character that maybe don’t come out with other projects.
It was always a bit of a no brainer that I was going to enjoy this release, and that is born of the fantastic catalogue of work that he has produced over the years. I wasn’t expecting it however, to be this good. He has taken the style he has grown and crafted over time and somehow made it work in a completely opposite way. Each one of the songs on here could easily feature on a Melvins album, if given the full band treatment. A definite contender for a spot on my albums of the year list and, as usual after hearing anything he has been involved, I find myself asking “what the hell is coming next”. It is a good job, that due to his prodigious work rate, we shouldn’t have to wait to long to find out.