Buck Gooter - Finer Thorns - - Soundblab

Buck Gooter - Finer Thorns

by Sean Hewson Rating:9 Release Date:2019-02-22
Buck Gooter - Finer Thorns
Buck Gooter - Finer Thorns

Buck Gooter are a new band to me but they’ve been around for 14 years and Finer Thorns is their eighteenth album. There is a 30 year age gap between the two members – Terry Turtle and Billy Brat (possibly not their birth names) – and they tend to favour masks.

Peace Siren starts with a two-note synth riff, hard drum machine, and distorted guitar. It sounds, excitingly, like the Young Gods. Then the lads start shouting at us (also quite exciting). There then follows a guitar solo, an electronics solo and we’re out in 2 and a half minutes. Pastoralists is even more brutal. Like NIN at their most depraved. ‘NO, NO, NO’ is shouted like that worried cat on the internet. And we’re out in 2. The brilliantly named Science Is A Rascal is next. It’s a change of pace – there’s an acoustic guitar, there is singing – the stools and lighters are properly out. A strange, phased acoustic guitar leads Land Of The Dead. The spoken word/sampled sections put me in mind of earlier sampler bands from the late 80s (Young Gods, The Shamen (pre-Mr C), Age Of Chance). Skunks Are Cool, a respectful warning about the beauty/ugly dichotomy at the heart of skunkdom, and possibly a metaphor. The phased guitar is still with us and the percussion has more of a pots and pans feel. A few moments of calm, electronic hum start The Fig Wasp - more investigation into the natural world (again, possibly a metaphor), this time with a spoken word lecture on said insect. This time, the combination of spoken word and shouting reminds me of the Butthole Surfers. An 80s Industrial beat starts Alien along with the same guitar through weird effects (I don’t think that these guys use boutique pedals, it sounds like a cheap effects unit from the 80s or 90s; although they have toured with A Place To Bury Strangers so might have picked up some choice items). The combination of percussion and guitar sound particularly odd/brilliant on this song as they are allowed the space and time to blend together into an odd/brilliant machine. The song ends with a mess of voices and sounds that reminds me, again, of the Young Gods. The title track is up next. The song is slower, allowing the phased guitar to sound particularly Gothy, at least until the most unBlues bottleneck solo ever happens. The album finishes with two epics. First up is the 5 minutes Used To Rain, that could almost be Crystal Castles when it starts but soon settles down into a Doom-paced, two-chord rant. This is the most simplistic that the already pretty simplistic Buck Gooter get on this album.  The words are great too as a cloud is used as the metaphor this time. Joshua Rising is almost seven minutes! Admittedly, one minute is taken up by singing Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho. The beat is a weird combination of Tainted Love and Pow R Toc H. The used of Joshua… leads to a ‘tear down the wall’ refrain and there’s little doubt what the chaps are talking about here.

I love this album. Buck Gooter have a simple set-up, a sense of humour and an individual approach to everything that they do. To me, and I’m sure that this is unintentional, they make me think of late 80s bands that were using cheap versions of new technology alongside a stripped down Punk feel – World Domination Enterprises, Jesus Loves Amerika-era Shamen, Age Of Chance, The Young Gods. This is a highly exciting combination of ideas and tools that kind of got swamped by advances in technology and wound up as Jesus Jones. There is no danger that Buck Gooter will get subverted in this way, they will do the subverting.

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