Album Review

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard - Skinwalker

Best enjoyed as a quick trip through pop’s past, albeit with a higher-than-average quota of batshit lyrics.

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard - Skinwalker

To take ‘Skinwalker’ alongside its associated bumph - a literary-inspired space journey, apparently - might bring to mind hellish ideas of prog musicians in sparkly capes - or worse, Muse. In fact, there’s just one point during Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard’s second album proper that comes close to erring on the wrong side of earnest. Save for the wholly conceptual ‘The Drowning Bell’, the Cardiff-based outfit’s latest is better enjoyed as a quick trip through pop’s past, albeit with a higher-than-average quota of batshit lyrics. Take ‘In My Egg’; a blistering track which brings to mind T.Rex (their love for the decade taste forgot has not waned) and has frontman Tom Rees repeating its titular phrase for much of its runtime. Or ‘Sugar Sandwich’, possibly a rare moment where one might ask: ‘What *would* it sound like if Status Quo were to cover Adam Ant?’ But when ‘Skinwalker’ successfully skirts this line - between po-faced sincerity and questionable pastiche - it’s pure fun. ‘My Star Sign Is A Basset Hound’ revels in its bombast, with a guitar lick that drips with late-‘90s indie bandwagoning; if the Buzzards had found it, alongside the similarly epic ‘Leatherbound’, down the back of a long-lost studio sofa, it would come as no shock. Perhaps most impressive of all - it’s easy to be weird, after all - is ‘National Rust’. The kind of alt-pop song that’d fit in seamlessly on a Kaiser Chiefs record or next to Declan McKenna, its whipsmart bridge, funky middle eight, and daytime radio chorus make for an enviable display of pop nous. The record may not always hit right - ‘Chew’ echoes Royal Blood if amps were turned only to seven - but when it does, it’s a joy.

Tags: Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, Reviews, Album Reviews

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