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Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard - Skinwalker (Album Review)

Wednesday, 17 April 2024 Written by Tom Morgan

Photo: Charlie Harris

Given its analog horror-channelling cover, you’d be forgiven for assuming ‘Skinwalker’ was some eerie dark ambient album. In reality, it’s the latest (and best) release from Cardiff indie-rockers Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard.

The band have recently adopted a darker, metal-adjacent aesthetic and, compared to the quirky glam-pop of their debut ‘Backhand Deals’, the fuzz pedal-stacked ‘Skinwalker’ is certainly more head-bangable. Plus, it has that spooky cover and title.

Even so, its 11 tracks are several degrees too chipper to be classed as metal. The only track that approaches this mode is the excellent closer Night Of The Skinwalker, where monster riffs and swaggering grooves come closest to being truly Sabbathian.

Heaviness requires at least some feeling of doom or dejection, of which ‘Skinwalker’ possesses not a drop. Lyrics on tracks like Chew allude to creepy creatures, but the whole tone is too enjoyably silly to ever unsettle. Buzzard’s musical vision is similarly upbeat and goofy. 

Their ripper of a second album channels glam swagger (National Rust), psych fun (Chew) and even warped power ballads (The Drowning Bell), all of which ooze personality and flair. A notable highlight is the lengthy Therapy. A bass-led beast that sounds like a cross between Viagra Boys and Gossip, its absurd lyrics and motorik rhythms are engrossing. ‘Skinwalker’ is an endlessly fun and expertly produced album by frontman Tom Rees, just check any heavy expectations at the door.


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