It has been two and a half years since British pop punk ‘n’ rollers Top Buzzer had us leaping around with the thrilling stomp of The Sprollie EP. It is a time though which has seen the band still a busy live proposition and its members, especially vocalist/bassist Andy ‘Dukey’ Duke, get involved in a horde of other projects and bands alongside the ‘day job’. Now to stir up and entertain ears at home again, the London based trio have uncaged the Inside is a Room Vol. 1 EP; four tracks of the band’s inimitable and contagious rock ‘n’ roll. It might be more recognisable prime Top Buzzer devilry but the release also reveals a broader embracing of punk and varied rock flavours within a fresh snarl and even keener hooks than ever.
Originally Jersey bred and formed in 2011, Top Buzzer has been a feisty punk proposition from day one, in sound and DIY attitude. Quickly they created their own label Back2Forward Records for first release, the Hands Up EP, and in turn the highly successful single Remission which followed. Praise and support followed across the written press, such as Kerrang, Rock Sound, and Big Cheese and on radio as UK and US shows and stations, terrestrial and online, took a shine to their mischievous pop punk revelry. Debut album Outside Is A World, again released that first year, grabbed greater and keener attention which was subsequently eclipsed by The Sprollie EP in 2013 and the band’s contribution a year earlier to the 2012 Rebel On The Underground – A Tribute To X-Ray Spex compilation.
As mentioned it has been a fair old gap between releases, but now Dukey, guitarist/vocalist Soni, and drummer/vocalist Welshy ensure the wait for something new is a quickly forgotten moan with Inside is a Room and indeed opener Trapped In The Room. Straight away ears are accosted by a swarm of riffs and rhythms, guitars and bass instantly lining that initial surge with sharp catchy hooks before expanding them further as the song settles into its tenacious stroll. Feet and hips are a swift blur to the equally animated nature and motion of the song. Dukey’s familiar tones adding to the recognisable air of the song but equally pushing the new lusty and punchy nature to the band’s sound. Like the ‘bad’ kid down the road your mother warned you about, the one destined to cause trouble and encourage develop bad habits, the track stirs up the spirit and an urge to lose inhibitions.
That same irresistible nagging arises with Meanwhile in San Francisco and its deliciously spicy melodic beckoning around Welshy’s enslaving anthemic bait. There is a touch of The Vibrators to the song as it settles and blossoms a thick lure of beats and bass temptation whilst on top Soni’s guitar uncages a blues frisked spiral of sonic enterprise. Ultimately creating a rousing proposal which at times is almost akin to Toy Dolls meets The Adicts, the track has body and voice firmly involved before allowing Denny’s Song the chance to run its grittier hard rock meets pop punk persuasion by ears for a matching success. Again resistance to getting physically and emotionally involved is futile once hooks and swinging rhythms seize hips and the imagination; the vocals across the band only stirring things up further with their boisterous encouragement.
The EP ends with the old school punk seeded Live is Blind where the three prong vocal attack alone is a riveting and thickly enjoyable incitement. Imagine The Ramones, Radio Stars, and The Wildhearts colluding for a riotous, rip-roaring stomp and Top Buzzer have that covered with the excellent closer to another thrilling incitement of ears and bold fun.
We have had a serious sweet tooth for Top Buzzer since that first EP, no denying that, and with releases like Inside is a Room EP, it only gets more acute. Pop infested punk ‘n’ roll does not get much more fun and to be honest better than this.
The Inside is a Room EP is out now via most online stores and @ http://back2forward.bigcartel.com/product/inside-is-a-room-vol-1-cd
Pete RingMaster 18/03/2016
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