CD REVIEW: Bullbuckers - When Push Comes To Shove
By Cyrus Rhodes - 04/25/2013 - 04:47 PM EDT
Album: When Push Comes to Shove
Label: Independent Artist
Sounds Like: Bob Marley and the Wailers, English Beat, Hepcat, Mountain, UB40
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Falcon, Gimme a Little Sigm, Otis
Weakness: Repetitive Catalogue
Delaware based "Bullbuckers” just released their debut CD in 2013 entitled When Push Comes to Shove. How would you describe this band: "A love letter to Jamaican Folk Music. This album's heartbeat starts in Jamaica’s Mento and incorporates the elements we love of Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, and Dub." Well played! Band members include: Kevin Tarzanin, Steve Politowski, Dave Segal, Jim Miller, Steve Sharp, Zack Scudlark
The CD kicks things off with melodic intro track “Otis” a melodic guitar/keyboard ska driven intro groove meshed against tropical type rhythm, effective vocal delivery and a grand slam Chorus. Track 2 “St. Patty’s’ Day” serves up another slamming Reggae-Rock ditty with melodic musical horn section, coupled with warm and hooky vocal accents against infectious vibe. Track 3 “Gimme a Little Sign” keeps things moving in the smooth Caribbean direction with its dynamic musical flow eventually lending itself into an amazing musical statement with seductive lyrical content and happy vibe that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Pietasters, The Slackers - New York Ska, English Beat, Los Lonely Boys, Hepcat, Mountain, Haircut 100, UB40, Westbound Train.Right from the start you will notice these 6 cats feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. Besides the 4 piece standard the overall musical vibe has a nice, melodic Caribbean, Ska, Reggae driven feel to it. The playing is rock solid across the board as Johnson and company dish out impressive guitar licks, rock solid rhythm guitar, well placed Organ and Keyboard accents meshed with lush horns, percussion, and vocal harmonies layered everywhere. Tarzanin’s got solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. The production quality is rock solid with crystal clear high end clarity and solid low end punch. From melodic “Appreciation” to grooving “Time” to jumping “Sangria” to slamming “Miss Constance” to rocking “Falcon” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 11 “Don’t Know You” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
As amazing as this 11 track set is – it’s a tad bit repetitive.
In close When Push 'Comes to Shove” is an impressive feel good, hooky 11 song release. If these guys have a slam dunk live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate and highly entertaining – and clearly prove this band is on to something special. One would be wise to keep a watchful on these 6 over the years to come. That’s no bull!
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