You will forgive us, like the band we hope, for bringing this single to your attention a little late but it is a must for all those with a bold adventure in their indie rock hearts and rapacious fever in their indie pop instincts. The track is Cora Cora Cora and it comes from UK outfit Ben Wood and The Bad Ideas, and the first song in a planned project which if all prove as striking will make 2020 a highly busy and successful time for the UK band.
January saw the launching of a 12 month campaign which will see the London based band release a single per month for that period, songs set to feature guest performances from the likes of drummer Nick Maybury (Juliette Lewis & The Licks/ Scott Weiland Band) and prog pioneer Billy Ritchie (Clouds/ The 123) on keys alongside lead vocalist/guitarist Wood, lead guitarist Andy Duke (Flesh Tetris), bassist Ed Sonsino, and drummer Clive Bissell.
Cora Cora Cora as mentioned is their first offering and sees the legendary Dave Barbarossa (Adam & The Ants/ Bow Wow Wow) featuring on drums. Fair to say the track immediately gripped ears with its almost sinister melodic lure which emerged from the initial blast of rhythmic temptation. That fruitful hook continues to wind across the song, increasing its intoxication as Woods potent tones swing on the creative threads of the band led by Duke’s ever magnetic craft.
It is a captivating encounter which is only grips tighter with its post punk seeded shadows and rhythmic nagging and erupts to greater heights with its enlivened chorus and increasingly virulent sound.
The track is superb and a thrilling introduction to the band’s proposed endeavour so go grab now before its greedily anticipated successor is uncaged. Ben Wood & The Bad Ideas are out to grab your ears and attention and already it is easy to feel it could be a done deal.
Cora Cora Cora is available now via Back2Forward Records.
Channel Island band Top Buzzer with the release of their single ‘Remission’ a mere few weeks ago, immediately raised an excited enthusiasm for the imminent release of their debut album. The track’s instant burst of irresistible melodies and punk hooks wrapping around smart stinging lyrics, the best possible invite to investigate the album. Outside Is A World is unleashed June 27th on their own label Back2Forward Records and The Ringmaster Review can announce that the album more than lives up to the awaiting enthusiastic anticipation and in fact goes far beyond. Consisting of eleven vibrant songs the Jersey trio have created a release that gets the pulse racing, body moving, and smiles flowing with their punk pop directness and ingenuity. Though recorded in the UK it was mainly mixed in New York City by Kennan Keating (Nine Inch Nails and Blondie), finding a combination of British and US vision that brings an overall openness and directness that delights.
Over the brief years the band has been operating, they have shared stages with the likes of Futureheads, Macabees, and Primal Scream and from the album there is no doubt they have watched, noted and learned from those bands, taking the strongest elements and turning them into their own unique attributes. Rippling with firm riffs and addictive melodies and hooks that never let go, each song on Outside Is A World is a mini event culminating in one big show of an album.
It opens up with the punk burst of ‘All I Want To Do’, all attitude and personal social commentary delivered in an enticing vibrancy of sound, the guitar of Becksi surging skilfully as Welshy drives the track with his firm and direct drumming; the punchy bass of Dukey completing the compulsive attack as he delivers the smart lyrics in the style of his playing. As the last note drifts away second track ‘Wake Up Call’ takes over with a Devo like opening riff and its group chant chorus, defying all not to join in by the second repeat of the line. Here as with many songs there is a deeper meaningful premise behind the cleverly and instant lyrical writing and delving is well worth the time.
The single ‘Remission’ follows next, it’s brash, urgent, and witty representation of a relationships end still as essential from the first listen when appearing weeks back. The band calls on many punk influences from the late 70’s into the 80’s, reminders of bands stepping forth in the mind as the album moves through track after track. They are never big elements though as the sound is distinctly Top Buzzer nothing more, the references mere spices. From the Radio Stars/Max Raptor feel of the single through to the Baddies tone of ‘Are You In?’, and in ‘You’re So Good You’re Great’ with its punk vibe of The Lurkers, there are varied flavours the threesome bring to their energised punk rock and make their own.
With their ability to bring into and use without indulgence simple but siren like hooks and melodies the songs fly by but always with total satisfaction. Not in sound so much but in that style of songwriting they recall The Undertones especially in the last two tracks on the album, the lustful ‘When I Look At You’ and another song impossible to not sing-a-long with, ‘Deeply Shallow’.
Truly the whole album buzzes away and feeds the ear welcomingly, even the cover of the M song ‘Pop Musik’. If anyone can turn a song that we all know and probably wish we did not, into a great version I am still not sure but Top Buzzer give a fine attempt and it does bring plenty of smiles as well as showing how strong their own songs are in comparison.
The eagerness to entertain by Outside Is A World is equalled by the total pleasure from listening. It is an irrepressible package that shows Top Buzzer are about to take centre stage for many more people as they come across the album. Spread the word and bless many more with the sounds of Top Buzzer.
Pete RingMaster 24/06/2011