Album Review: Buzz Kull-Heat EP

Buzz Kull, a local Sydney darkwave duo that are slightly worse than watching Marilyn Manson being forced to stop playing music forever, have been a high priority band of mine for quite some time now. I first gained attention of their fabulously macabre sounds when the song ‘Fallen Flower’ caused me to convulse violently in fits of lust. Ever since then, I’ve needed Buzz Kull in my life, and I’m sure this applies to many others. Their Jesus And Mary Chain/Cure/Joy Division/Bauhaus sound, otherwise known as a concoction of all the good bands of the early/mid 80’s caused romantic seizures in even the most straightforward pop lovers of us.

However, the problem with Buzz Kull is that they are really lacking in material. Like the characters of ‘Trainspotting’, anyone who’s heard Buzz Kull, even once, is addicted to their noise, we need it like a drug, and the small contingent of songs and lack of an EP has been killing us. Well, the wait is over, as Buzz Kull unleash their Heat EP TODAY. And in no way, shape or form is it even remotely disappointing.

The bats of hell are released right out of the gate, as opener ‘Echo Planes’ regurgitates itself into our ears. The song spills with destructive-beauty, like a moody Frankenstein that hasn’t been laid in a long time. The black vocal sounds, reverberating with a curse’d tone, are actually providing relief from the barraging drum machine that hounds the listener, and the synth/bass melodies that are actually crushing you like a rock.

The EP moves into ‘Bloom’ (posted above), a track that has actually been seen quite a few times on blogs and compilations a plenty. However, in its natural environment of creepy wonder, ‘Bloom’ really has the chance to move and stretch. The unfolding beauty of the track is kinda like those black and purple, ghostly roses on Zomby’s album cover. The follow-up ‘Bedroom Highs’, another one that’s seen the light of day before the release of this EP, brings a little more Joy Division energy to the EP, similar to ‘Transmission’ or ‘She’s Lost Control’. The constant stream of vocals that spew forth over the ‘funky’ bass line, and the overall lighter presence of the song provide a little bit of relief for those of us who aren’t used to being immersed in the coiling blackness of Buzz Kull for so long.

‘Static Glow (1984)’ opens with air-raid siren, and moves into an oily pattern, like a crocodile sneaking up on its prey. And I’m not talking about some bullshit 80’s cartoon villain on a kids Saturday morning show, with a name like Doc Croc or something, I mean this song is as mean, sinister and blood thirsty as they come. As you’re listening to this track, you begin to be swallowed with the sense of hopelessness and despair that Buzz Kull can portray in their music so well. The final song is a glitchy mind-fuck known as ‘Remote Dreams’ that makes like Super Mario Brothers meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre. ‘Remote Dreams’ wades into your soul, plunging down time and again like the shower scene from ‘Psycho’, never giving up until you are well and truly under the Buzz Kull spell.

The true reason for why it has taken so long for a fully functioning EP to be brought out is because the band lost the original recordings to a hard-drive fault, and it had to be completely re-recorded. The fact that humanity might never have seen a real-life Buzz Kull EP is a universe that I don’t want to live in. But perhaps the time to work on it again and shift any kinks from the first time round worked in the bands favour. Buzz Kull are better than their contemporaries like The KVB, The Vandelles or Crocodiles (although they do a fantastic cover of the latter’s ‘I Wanna Kill’) because they simply flow and ebb with a natural beauty that has no sign of forced entry. Maybe it’s this sense of unhurried fluidness that ensures that ‘Heat’ is such a mesmerising piece of art to listen to.

Whatever it is, Buzz Kull have finally released their debut EP, and it is well worth the wait. In fact, ‘Heat’ is probably one of the best EP’s to be released all year. The fact that Buzz Kull have completely shattered expectations comes to the surprise of approximately no-one. This is why buying this EP is essential: go to Buzz Kull’s Bandcamp right here, and buy this thing. If that’s not enough to convince you, then how about knowing that all the money raised is going towards those suffering in the bush fires right now. So you can have the coolest EP in town AND support those in need. How cool is that?


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