Duo Kevin Lennon and Al Brown, aka Love Buzzard, offer up a veritable banquet of thrashy guitar riffs and frenetic drumming in the incredibly noisy, and impeccably titled, Antifistamines.
Describing their sound as “beautiful noise“, the pair certainly don’t waste any time showing us what they’re all about with the album’s opener ‘Cash’. The opening riff, a punky affair interspersed with spasmodic bursts of slide guitar, provides the perfect undercoat for Lennon’s untamed, shrieking vocals. A half-time doom groove offers a brief reprieve from the smash-it-up onslaught before we’re quickly thrown straight back into the mixer.
The noise doesn’t let up with the follower, the aptly-named ‘Headrush’, giving us our second foray into the world of Love Buzzard. ‘Headrush’ harbours a much more urgent tone to its predecessor. Every bit as loud as ‘Cash’, it might be easy to forget that this band is only made up of two people. Without a doubt, Kevin and Al give it just as much clout as any four or five-piece would.
Next up is ‘Beams’, arguably one of the lighter tunes on the album (and that’s saying something!) The sound is very much grunge and perhaps a little less chaotic than some of the other songs found on Antifistamines. Indeed, the follow-up ‘Creep and Crawl’ is quite similar in this respect: a shuffle-rhythm rocker, which could perhaps be personified as a bequiffed chap donning brothel creepers.
‘Passion’ has some of that flavour, but ultimately throws us back into the energy present in ‘Cash and Headflow’. All in all, this number serves as a great bridge into ‘Superglue’.
This one really sticks to you, if you’ll excuse the pun, with a rawness reminiscent of garage rockers the MC5. The lyrics also have a welcome campness to them to lighten the mood a little. When Lennon sings “I’m gonna glue myself to you” it almost harkens back to Steve Priest (of The Sweet fame) on Block Buster! singing “we just haven’t got a clue what to do!”
Seven songs in and it would appear that Love Buzzard have finally took their foot off the pedal, with ‘Wild’ dropping the distorted guitars. Of course, they’re just lulling us into a false sense of security as the duo soon launch back into the sound we’ve become quite familiar with. The opening refrain is very similar to that of Blondie’s One Way or Another – perhaps a nod to punk influences? One would certainly think so given the course this album has taken so far.
‘Give it Some Range’ goes further in suggesting this: the shortest song on the album at just 1:49 in length. It’s a reminder of when Ramones taught us that great tunes with everything in them needn’t surpass the two minute mark.
In spirit of the album title, ‘Heaven’s Got an Electric Fence’ is an equally amusing ditty, featuring some Dick Dale-esque surf guitar bursts as well as plenty of welly. ‘Origins’ continues the all-out aural assault before we’re dragged unceremoniously into the title track. The centre piece is an erratic, disjunct mover and the perfect set-up for the punkier Lines, leading us into the closer.
‘Tower’ begins with a lone guitar line which is soon accompanied by a slow, slogging beat courtesy of drummer Brown. The pace soon picks up, however, leading into a speed punk finale which truly rounds of this album. As the song meanders off into a wash of feedback, it seems like a job well done.
In the end, if you enjoy noisy music with slightly less-refined production values and a lot of energy, then you’ll love this. If you require a more visceral experience, then Love Buzzards are on tour till August 30th.