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Album Review: Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard // Backhand Deals

In their debut album, Backhand Deals, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard bring all the fun of 70s rock into 2022.

Lead single and opening track, ‘New Age Millennial Magic’ explores the desire for change, and the people who advocate for it without the willpower and knowhow to go out and achieve it. It’s musically entertaining, sounding like something straight off a glam rock record, whilst lyrically landing more in the ballpark of satirical post-punk, poking fun at millennial culture via whimsical metaphors and sarcastic digs.

From the fast-paced buoyancy of ‘Good Day’, to the jokingly aspirational anthem ‘Faking A Living’, each track is touched by polished production and well-crafted melodies, with sailing harmonies that even the Beatles would be proud of. The effervescent ‘Crescent Man vs Demolition Dan’ is Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard at their best; a powerful vocal performance from vocalist Tom Rees, a dazzling guitar breakdown, and a final towering finish.

With influences coming from all over, Backhand Deals is a journey of 60s and 70s rock hits, dashed with forays into other genres – the jazzier touch of ‘On The Kill Again’ is effortlessly smooth in its execution, with snappy guitars and singalong choruses carrying the way. For all the bravado and humour on the album, the almost ballad-like ‘Yourself’ showcases a different side of the group, slowing down and removing the facade to discuss identity and mental health, before rising into a musical explosion of guitars, saxophones and unrelenting drums.

‘A Passionate Life’ ends the record with a degree of contemplation, “What am I gonna say when all of these songs just melt away / Who am I gonna blame when all of my love slides away”, admitting being hit by the blues, and reflecting on the need to check up on your friends “I hope you’re doing just fine / I know that I should call sometimes”. A summary of parts, the track rings out with a twinkling piano and choruses of “la’s”, ending the album on a high.

Backhand Deals is a record that doesn’t take itself too seriously, with timeless melodies and big 70s influences creating an album which could’ve easily been released years ago. Its clean production and clever pop culture melodies brings it sauntering into the 21st century, with the group’s high energy and endlessly fun performances making it feel like a ready-made classic.

Author avatar
Ellie Howorth

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