The Bellicose Minds - The Buzz or Howl Sessions (A389 Recordings)

It's like the eighties never ended...
Release Date: 
6 Feb 2014 - 11:30pm

Originally released in 2009, The Buzz or Howl Sessions is now getting a well-deserved vinyl release courtesy of the good people at A389 Recordings. And while that 2009 release date already renders this an ‘old’ recording, the sounds contained within this quite splendid EP place it in reality as something that could quite easily have been recorded in 1981.

Post punk glumness is the name of the game, as the band expertly weaves influences such as Joy Division, Killing Joke and early U2 into a spiralling, exhilarating mix of black-clad rage and filigree melody. Drummer AJ Bellicose has the frantic hihat work so popular at the time down to a tee, whilst mainman Nick Bellicose is the possessor of a superb goth-punk howl in the tradition of Julian Cope, New Model Army's Slade the Leveller and Jaz Coleman. His vocals here carry real authority, and give every song the fine sense of portentous rage this kind of music needs to succeed.

It’s impossible to pick out a standout track from the five included, though the superb Tension Building, which adds a fine slab of Steve Severin-styled bass brilliance from four stringer Mira Bellicose and some great of-their-time synth parts from Nick, seems to be the track where everything hangs together most effectively; Whatever, wherever you deop the needle you’re guaranteed a fine – if necessarily sombre – time when you listen to this. Absolutely excellent stuff.