KING BUZZO — This Machine Kills Artists (review)

KING BUZZO — This Machine Kills Artists album cover Album · 2014 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
"This Machine Kills Artists" is the debut full-length studio album by US rock artist King Buzzo. The album was released through Ipecac Recordings in June 2014. King Buzzo is the solo project of Melvins vocalist/guitarist Buzz Osborne (real name Roger Osborne).

Melvins are known for their adventurous and at times rather idiosyncratic hard rock/sludge metal style, but on "This Machine Kills Artists", Buzz Osborne has opted for quite a different sound. All material on the 17 track, 44:50 minutes long album features only acoustic guitar and vocals. So a genre tag like acoustic rock isn´t all wrong. Osborne has a rather distinct sounding voice and delivery though, so you are never in doubt he is playing/singing although this is generally very different sounding from the Melvins.

The tracks are usually pretty short with only a single track out of the lot breaking the 4 minutes mark. The playing style varies between some pretty busy and rather aggressive stroking, to some more laid back and occasionally psychadelic moments. The organic playing, and the almost chaotic sound of the acoustic guitar, which features a sound where the strokes are sometimes louder and more clear than the actual notes and metallic sounding strings which ring and slap against the fretboard, are defining for the atmosphere of the album. This may be acoustic rock, but it´s played with both power and fierce passion.

The material is generally well written and relatively catchy, but it´s not exactly an album that´s memorable in the long run. It´s simply a bit too one-dimensional, although Osborne does all sorts of things right and makes the project work well to a certain extent. But it´s the limited premise of a man and his guitar that ultimately makes "This Machine Kills Artists" an album that would probably have worked better in the shorter EP format. A 3 star (60%) rating is still deserved.
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