The young Norwegian four-piece Buckaduzz — whose name, if you haven’t yet, you should really take the time to say out loud because it’s just so much fun – make their recorded debut with the self-released three-song CDEP The Big Slow. Their mix of noise and stoner influences comes out right from the start, and it’s apparent in listening that Buckaduzz are still trying to figure out where they want to be in terms of their sound, but in the meantime, they’ve managed to come up with some killer, sans-bullshit rock, which, in its final moments, even offers up a surprise in terms of how complex the band wants to be. The proverbial “good start.”
In a way, the first 10 seconds of opener “Aquanaut” tell the whole tale of The Big Slow. The thick, fuzz guitars of Sondre Mæland and Markus Lie Andersen lead the charge into the track, and they remain a leading focus for the EP’s 22:39 duration, bassist Ole Rokseth and drummer Martin Gerlyng having no trouble keeping up but never really taking the fore, even on the more rhythmically-centered second track, “Gunslinger.” The starts and stops would seem to be a rhythmic key, but I’d argue that song, which towards its close reminds more of the modern House of Broken Promises style of accessible riffage than the angry Dozer/Greenleaf vibes I got off the opener, is even more about the interplay between Mæland and Andersen, the throaty growls of the former adding an even more aggressive immediacy throughout.
To their credit, Buckaduzz change up both their approach and the vibe of The Big Slow on the closer, “King Crab.” At 12:54, the track is more than twice as long as either “Aquanaut” or “Gunslinger,” and longer than the two put together (math is fun). More than that, though, it’s the shifts in sound and the increased dynamics that stand out. Buckaduzz begin slower, moodier and quieter, with some more subdued vocals from Mæland and solid hi-hat hits from Andersen. Until about 5:40, “King Crab” isn’t such an outlandish pairing with either of the first two cuts — and it’s about a king crab, for which the correct word is “charm” — but then the song cuts out to a quiet moment of just guitar that acts as the very beginning of a brilliantly-executed gradual build that consumes the last seven minutes of The Big Slow. Along the way, Buckaduzz show off some psychedelia, some classic soloing, a little prog edge, and no shortage of groove.
Both “Aquanaut” and “Gunslinger” are solid rockers with catchy riffs and heavy crashes — nothing wrong with that — but it’s on “King Crab” that Buckaduzz really do the work of distinguishing themselves. They’re still not redefining the genre, which would be asking a lot of a band so young, but they give listeners a glimpse at their potential on “King Crab” that puts The Big Slow in a different category entirely. Before you know it, Mæland is back with vocals for the song’s closing movement, and you’re snapped out of the hypnosis and back to the rock. The skill and subtlety with which they handle the song is an achievement in itself, and should they continue along those lines they have the chance to develop into something genuinely unique among their riffy peers. Here’s hoping.
Tags: Buckaduzz, Norway, Unsigned bands