Thursday, February 04, 2016

Album Review :: Love Buzzard - Antifistamines

Love Buzzard


February 12 2016 (1-2-3-4 Records)


Words: Richard O’Hagan

One of the big puzzles in music is why anyone should choose to label themselves as ‘garage rock’. It is, in many ways, a pejorative term, conjuring up suggestions of technical naivety and a lack of musical sophistication. It is a term, though, which Love Buzzard embrace. This is a shame, because there’s really nothing na├»ve or unsophisticated about the duo’s debut album at all.

Yes, it is loud and abrasive – almost relentlessly so, in fact. But the way that the twelve tracks (eighteen if you buy the special edition) hang together is almost symphonic at times, a hypnotic tide of swelling and fading music. Sometimes that sound is dense and murky, such on opener ‘Cash’, Al Brown’s thunderous drumbeat competing for space with Kevin Lennons squealing guitar and frantic vocal. At other times thing almost become poppy – ‘Beans’ is very reminiscent of Crazyhead trying to be commercial, for example, but to prove that they’re not commercial at all it then almost segues into the psychobilly-esque ‘Creep and Crawl’.

If there’s one quibble about ‘Antifistamines’ (other than that the title is almost too odd), then it has to be that the basic release really does short change people. The best track by far here is the splendid ‘Caught In The Deed’, and that’s only available as a bonus. Whether this is a clever marketing ploy to sell the 18-track version, or simply a band who don’t recognise when they have something good, only Love Buzzard can tell you.

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