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Me by Buck Brothers

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Reviewed on 17th February 2007.

 
 

Me

By Buck Brothers

Many people erroneously laugh off the Kaiser Chiefs as mere Britpop pretenders, but imagine if they had actually been born into the dregs of Britpop in 1995 and not quite made it - thus leaving the music business quietly to play at local snooker clubs wearing sunglasses, a la Rick Witter?

Well, Buck Brothers are this band. Like most acts from the Britpop era, they get caught trying far too hard to make commercially dependable music. Since the emergence of the self-styled 'New Rock Revolution' however, bands have seemingly produced effortless pop tunes, with greater talent ensuring a longer lifespan. It's hardly likely that the Kaiser Chiefs of today will in the future be mocked as a Kula Shaker for our generation.

Buck Brothers on the other hand, may well be.

Let's not be awful - 'Me' is miles and miles and miles from the worst music you will ever and like many of the forgotten bands of yesteryear, Buck Brothers have a couple of great songs; the schizophrenic 'Which Me Do You Like?' and the Morrissey backed by Arctic Monkeys 'Gorgeously Stupid' are both perfect examples. However, for a twelve track CD there is a major component absent - consistency.

From 'Mannish Girl' onwards the quality of output slowly diminishes. Clever arrangements and effective power punk is replaced by dumb, done to death, Kaiser Chiefs-like rubbish. 'Liar' is the biggest culprit, with a mandatory bass fuelled groove accompanied by seemingly rushed vindictive lyrics ("You're a liar/ A big fat liar").

Hmm. Maybe rubbish is a bit much - in fact only 'Liar' and 'Gatu Politik' fall into this category with the rest just being plain pass-by filler. 'Yes, No, Stay, Go, Do, Don't Will Wont' is perhaps the exception from the latter half, beginning exactly like Trail Of Dead's 'The Rest Will Follow' and turning into emo-light gurners We Are Scientists. Others, such as 'Girls, Skirts...' and 'She's Red' painfully try to make an impression but end up falling short, the former taking its power punk influence from Blur's hardly groundbreaking track, 'Bank Holiday'.

The fact is that Buck Brothers aren't awful, and many people will like their (overly) radio friendly single worthy songs. To me, this seems like a wasted opportunity - there is evidence in the minority of this album of much more innovative and startling music. Unfortunately, the majority tends to stay safe and perhaps overdoes the whole indie-pop thing a bit, like so many others do.

And the proclamations that "Daniel Radcliffe is a fan" and "Jarvis Cocker is the drummer's cousin" aren't going to change my mind. Sorry.

 

Comments

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On 17th February 2007 at 01:36 Anonymous 6302 wrote...

I totally disagree with you.

 

On 17th February 2007 at 09:15 Dave LMS wrote...

I haven't listened to this album properly yet, but my reaction on a brief, first listen to the opening tracks was not good.

 

On 20th February 2007 at 15:55 Anonymous 5643 wrote...

"I totally disagree with you."

Oh dear- and I was being nice too.

I found it hellishly boring.

 

On 2nd March 2007 at 17:08 Anonymous 6339 wrote...

You people obviously have never heard the Buck Brothers play live. They are really good, music you can dance and have a good time too.

It sounds like Russell that you are one of those people who thinks way too much of their own opinion and loves picking holes in everything.

Ok, soon enough Buck Brothers will be played on the radio and a lot of people will love it. But whats wrong with that? If they've created good (ok thats everyones opinion) music that gets people singing and dancing, then doesn't that mean they are a good band that deserves some success.

Finally, I don't think they deserve this slating before they are famous as....well Kaiser Cheifs (who i happen not to actually like-but not because of the reasons you give) They are really nice people, who at the moment just play in small venues, which i think is very humble.

So get off your high horse...and stop with the critising!

 

On 2nd March 2007 at 17:28 Dave LMS wrote...

You people obviously have never heard the Buck Brothers play live

And the relevance to any CD review is... Or were you expecting we review the live show instead of the CD? Sadly, we got the CD, but I've noted your comments.

...I don't think they deserve this slating before they are famous...

Eh? Ignoring for a moment what defines 'famous', are you suggesting that all bands deserve to receive rosy reviews until they reach a certain level of popularity, regardless of their ability? How fair is it to start being cruel to a band, just because they're famous. Bit inconsistent there don't you think? I know I said I liked them yesterday, but ...

And how would you intend to separate the good amateur bands from the not-so-good? How do you start a buzz for good new bands if all new bands, by default, have to be classed as good.

...and stop with the critising! (sic)

Haha, I'm sure the band can take it.

But to answer your point, well, as soon as you perform in public you expect people watching to be forming opinions. It's a natural reaction. Or when you send your CDs out for a critical review, you expect the good with the bad. I would assume, and hope, that the band understand this. Even if you don't.

Pandering to the press is a game, a gamble. Sometimes you win, and people like your band, and sometimes you lose, and they don't.

 

On 30th March 2007 at 12:13 Anonymous 5643 wrote...

It sounds like Russell that you are one of those people who thinks way too much of their own opinion and loves picking holes in everything.


Which is exactly what you're doing. I'm not going to review it based on someone else's opinion am I?

As for picking holes then, yes I do. That's what I'm supposed to do. It's a music review.

 

On 2nd July 2007 at 15:17 Anonymous 6679 wrote...

RL,

I rate your review style and feel that the references that you cite on this and all your other reviews are spot on but feel duty bound to correct you on one thing:

Buck Brothers were not formed in the Britpop era.

They may be playing snooker halls and wearing dodgy sunglasses but they only formed in 2005.

I own a copy of 'Me', bought off the back of the World Record Gig-a-thon they did a few months back and it's really grown on me. Rather than recalling Blur and Britpop exclusively, I hear a lot of old school punk and feel more comfortable comparing them to the Buzzcocks. The album has some filler and cringe-worthy moments but there are moments of quirky brilliance and a feel that recalls the No-Wave era ala Gang of Four and Wire in places.

The CD is definitely a grower.

I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 for whatever it's worth.

RM

 
 
 

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