It’s always nice to discover a genuinely exciting new band. To quote the Coca Cola advertising slogan: “You can’t beat the feeling!” Top Buzzer are a pop-punk band that sound like the fizz created when you drop ice cream into a large glass of the stuff!
The album is full of good old fashioned mission statements, like in opening track, “All I Want to Do” in which singer Andy sneers, Life is short, religion sucks. This from a band that met at a Hindu Disco! But all the best bands are always full of contradictions!
“All I Want to Do” is quickly followed by “Wake Up Call”, a call to those blindly accepting the bland rubbish by the likes of Coldplay et al over the last decade perhaps? Personally, from a music point of view, I think the 00s were the worst (definitely the most boring) decade there has ever been – it takes a DIY punk band like Top Buzzer to alert people to this. Outside is a World, the album title, and lyric to “No More Yesterdays” is perhaps another simple statement telling people to stop waffling and wanking over the internet and go out and find life! If “Are You In Or Are You Out” sounds like Bush’s “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”, then this is more like music for those who are against!
The album rattle along at a fast pace, with nods to all the right bands of their ilk – the Buzzcocks, and more recently, the Subways possibly. It’s been mixed by Blondie and Nine Inch Nails producer, Kevin Keating, and there is definitely also an American influence. It also reminds me of The Wonderstuff’s debut “Eight Legged Groove Machine”, just for its immediate catchiness – it grabs you by the balls in the same way, and Andy’s vocal is not dissimilar to Miles Hunt’s.
My two favourite songs are towards the end of the album – “She’s Not Wearing Any”, a cheeky song about getting lucky, and the finale, “Deeply Shallow”, which perhaps sums up the band. It’s a simple, throwaway song – I put the low in low brow taste/I’m a cultural waste. They are after all, a great fun band, and terrific live, on the two showings I’ve seen. The first was their impromptu gig at Glastonbury Town Square – a two fingered salute to the commercialisation of the festival down the road – and the second, one of the dates on their mini tour to promote the album. This gig, at Birmingham’s Asylum 2, turned out to be more like a showcase gig for themselves, as well as Nomad 67 (excellent Nirvana-style grunge), with a very small turn-out. However, along with another audience member who’d made a 100 mile trip from Preston, I’d much rather spend £25 on petrol on getting there from Cardiff to see 2 great bands in a small venue, than spend £25 to see a band at a local venue who are gonna bore the pants off me!
Not sure if Top Buzzer’s rise is going to escalate so that they too will be playing arenas any time soon, but I’d still heartily recommend jumping aboard the Top Buzzer bus early just to find out. And to anyone who still drones on about the artistry of Radiohead and all their descendants, look out! Good old fashioned fun might just be coming back into fashion!