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Bus – Never Decide

Bus
Never Decide
by Anton Sanatov at 29 March 2019, 9:02 PM

It is too often that we find the odd gem beneath the dust. That’s just how things are; the sands of time show no mercy to any old trinket. Well, luckily for the treasures of the past, here on the dark side of the musical spectrum we sure love to bring out our Metal detectors and revel in the schools of old.

Stoner Rock is one of those genres that has arguably stood the test of time; for regardless of the generational frontier, the sound of fuzzy guitars and obscure lyricism tends to remain the same. Granted, experimentation is the virtue of progress, but an ostensible reluctance to change has an endearing quality of its own. Yet the problem with such nostalgic principles is that they often lead to creative stagnation; and that is how you end up with something good, but rather bland – like a tofu salad, in a sense. Now, BUS’s “Never Decide” is not exactly an unseasoned offering, but it sure could do with a touch more zest. So let’s blow the dust off this plate and see if it has any taste.

When you hear a band like this you can’t help but draw comparisons to their contemporary genre peers in the likes of LUCIFER and COVEN – for outfits like those have truly embodied the sound of that 60’/70’s Rock  eccentricity within our current timeline. Now, I shall be forthright by admitting that BUS are not quite in the same league as the aforementioned acts, but “Never Decide” does offer its share of decency.

The album opens hard with rockers “You Better Come In You Better Calm Down” and “The Hunt” – a pair of smoky Stoner Rock staples that tap into a 70’s vibe and refuse to let go. The Blues Rock influences are abundant in the shuffling riffs of the first song whilst the latter worships at the altar of classic SABBATH.

Speaking of worshipping the dark lords, “Lucifer” – a slow, doom-ridden meditation on the ruler of hell – is a surprisingly pleasant cut that hides in the middle of this otherwise rather, shall we say, quite uneventful offering. The track, whilst riddled in convention and simplicity, harbours a curious ballad-esque quality that is somewhat inconspicuous but also hard to ignore. This eerie, almost romantic tone that lingers within such an explicitly nefarious song is the piece of dark magic that may perhaps serve as a redemptive quality for this record, and is an element that BUS should most definitely explore on their future works.

Things continue to be quite interesting with follow-up tracks “Moonchild” and “Into The Night”, where the band get a touch more playful with their sound; particularly on “Moonchild”, where we hear BUS reach into the wonderland of outfits like JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and employ some enigmatic riffing and mischievous vocal delivery.


In terms of production this record sounds exactly how it should. The guitars are full of fuzzy distortion, the drums are raw but clear, and the vocals are drenched in reverb. Yet whilst “Never Decided” does relentlessly pursue the aesthetic of the 70’s with its tonal qualities, the mix and the overall sound are top-notch; something that certainly elevates this record above the common mark.

Overall – I can’t quite decide on what the verdict should be here. “Never Decide” is a good record, but that’s about it. BUS’s second full-length offering will surely please the fans of the genre, but I’m also afraid that it shall leave them wanting more; for whilst this album screams of classic Rock, it relies on its echoes far too much.


Songwriting: 8
Originality: 4
Memorability: 5
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. You Better Come In You Better Calm Down
  2. The Hunt
  3. I Buried Paul
  4. Lucifer
  5. Moonchild
  6. Into The Night
  7. Evil Eyes
  8. This King
Lineup:
Aris Fasoulis - Drums.
Bill “City” Politis - Vocals & Guitars
Spiros ”Chob” Papadatos - Bass Guitar
Fotis Kolokithas – Guitars
Record Label: RidingEasy Records
     


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