Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard showcase their new era

“We’re steamrolling into a new era!” Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard frontman Tom Rees exclaimed to his audience at Voodoo Daddy’s in Norwich – one stop on a run of tour dates promoting their new record back in March. “If you’ve come to hear old songs, you’re only getting new ones, I’m afraid!”

So far, the band have been known for their modern embodiment of iconic, ’70s glam rock artists: flairs galore, catchy hooks and scuzzy guitars. However, Skinwalker has arrived to take you on a haunting trip through Rees’ mind and present your ears with a heavier, wilder sound.

Before its release, we were slowly drip-fed singles from the album, which felt like a lead up to a jumpscare. The full-length, which features nightmarish cover art, opens with booming distortion and copious voices chanting “walk!”. If you’re going into the album expecting to hear something remnant of Marc Bolan, this will certainly shock you.

The following track, ‘National Rust’, has a self-assured vigour but holds a familiarity to it in terms of their old style. Despite their dramatic new image and heavier tone overall, the older glam rock sound is certainly still present. Tracks such as ‘Therapy’ grasp that T. Rex and Bowie influence with their catchy, choral vocals. However, the band’s harmonious elements on Skinwalker are meaner and harder with raging guitar breaks – something we’ve not seen from the group yet.

‘Chew’ is a track that will draw the attention of any King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard fan – its thunderous and echoing guitar riffs are reminiscent of the Gizz’s Flying Microtonal Banana era, making it a great modern psych-influenced tune. ‘Human Compression’ is another tune that showcases their boldness in cranking the overdrive, and they are clearly comfortable in this new territory.

There’s a confidence that radiates off this album, making for a smooth transition into their new sound and image. I have no doubt their steamrolling will continue, but will it be exploring this heavier sound further or taking us somewhere new again? Skinwalker has put this band on a very exciting level.

Haiku review:
Prepare yourself to
Beware of the Skinwalker –
He’s good at guitar

Skinwalker is out now, on all major streaming platforms. Pick up a physical copy via the band’s webstore.

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