Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard’s much anticipated debut full-length Backhand Deals is here, in all it’s 70’s glam rock steez and earworms galore. The fantastic Non-Stop EP was a real promising sign of things to come for the Cardiff four, and boy does the follow up kick the feathers from your boa. But what’s behind the album? Let the guys show you all their influences going into Backhand Deals. Here is what Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard appreciates, now, let us appreciate Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard.
Can’t Buy A Thrill – Steely Dan
I was told by a sparky on one of our video shoots that Steely Dan was kind of started as a joke band to prove to pop artists how easy their music was to write and perform and though that stinks of patronising superiority it’s really hard to blame them considering this record provides some of the most effortlessly perfect pop songs ever written. I’ll of course preface this whole thing with ‘this is just my opinion’ but considering Dirty Work recently got featured in Euphoria and the trailer for the second Suicide Squad film I think it’s safe to say it passes the pop check.
I think Steely Dan get a bad rep mainly because of how ‘muso’ they got on Aja, which I don’t like nearly as much as this record. My friend Alice Low tells me she’s going to give this album a try and maybe change her mind. I hope she will, I hope all of you will.
One Of These Nights – Eagles
Have you ever been screaming every word to ‘Take It To The Limit’ whilst returning from buying a loaf of fresh squidgy sourdough in the pouring rain, with the collected dew on it’s plastic packaging dripping down onto your trembling fingers? Then you haven’t felt pure lust and I feel sorry for you.
I joke but this is really when I fell in love with this album, I had my dads old LP of it and used to play it on what seemingly was a record player made out of Lego from Clas Ohlson. Little sidebar here, when Clas Ohlson closed in Cardiff I felt a huge sense of dread, I should have known it was the beginning of a massacre of closures of cultural heritage sites, I should have known.
This record displays something that I love about all the other records on this list actually, is the ability to be a virtuoso, but the good sense to not to perform like one, to stay in ones lane, so to speak. Once you can get past Don Henley unironically ‘searching for the daughter of the devil himself’ this album really puts the fire on and says ‘it’s Sunday, relax’.
Pure Comedy – Father John Misty
I definitely love this record because it came out when I was twenty one and I thought I knew everything I needed to know about the socio-political landscape on a global scale, but I think I have fallen in love with it more and more as I’ve grown up and also subsequently learned that you can’t just say ‘seize the means of production’, you have to have a bit more material to back it up.
I was already a big FJM fan however this one hit me really hard because the production was so clean and everything was so fine tuned, I love CLEAN records. It was as if the spirit of Glenn Frey had possessed Josh Tillman for a year or at least Jonathan Wilson and sound engineer Trevor Spencer. Of course, beyond my obsession for CLEAN records, Josh Tillman is a lyrical and musical genius and this record is (in my opinion) the best example of that.
John Prine – John Prine
Nobody has made me cry more than John Prine. I have given more tears to John Prine than anyone else. This record is beautiful and humble and hopeful and tragic and true. No record has ever made me feel like the person singing to me was a friend, and we were in the same room together whilst they played me a few songs they had been working on.
If I ever feel sad, I listen to Illegal Smile, if I ever feel smart, I listen to Pretty Good, if I ever feel homesick, I listen to Angel from Montgomery. John Prine has everything for you in one record alone. We lost him recently, which was very sad, but his music will make you happy, and not just happy happy, but happy in a deep and meaningful way.
T Rex – Electric Warrior
As much as I cringe inside when anyone calls us a ‘glam band’ I can’t deny that I know every single word to every single track on this song which transformed me from a pseudo-depressed fourteen year old emo kid into an arrogant sixteen year old emo kid.
Before I had discovered this record I was listening to a lot of Biffy Clyro which, if we’re being real, was just making me very very sad. This record however, taught me that being silly was also an option. Music was fun, you didn’t have to take yourself seriously and make some huge grand gesture. Music is a great source of commentary and can change the world for the better but a lot of the time it doesn’t need to, sometimes it just needs to be a guitar solo in a feather boa.
Badfinger – Straight Up
This record turned me into a brown leather wearing, big hair growing, dry drum playing loser and I love every second of it. I think I read somewhere that half of it was produced by Todd Rundgren before they ran out of money and then George Harrison took over which is both testament to how much I love Todd for ditching the project after the money went dry, and how much I love George for his big heart, who knew good cop, bad cop could be a production technique?
I’m such a fan of ‘songs’ in the traditional ‘Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star’ sense of the word and this record has so many genius songs, plus the boys are only from bloody Swansea aren’t they.
The Hives – Veni Vedi Vicious
The Hives are one of the greatest bands to ever exist and if anyone wants to dispute that I’ll meet them by the stones in Bute Park at 6pm this Sunday and we can settle it with our fists.
This album is so aware of how it doesn’t need any Hollywood production frills to convince you of its energy it gives you real ‘riding your bike as a twelve year old child’ energy, which good or bad is definitely not ‘riding your bike as a twenty-six year old man’ energy. This record makes me feel the same way as when I pushed the ‘stop’ button on the bus for the first time as a child, it’s invigorating
Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy
I have never given a tear for Glen Campbell but I have given a lot of time to this single record. It’s been my most listened to record on my Spotify Wrapped for the last three years. When I listen to Glen Campbell you better bet I mean business.
Every song on this record is a stone cold hit. Glen Campbell’s voice sounds like an electric train on the worlds greasiest tracks, it’s clean but it will hit you at 230mph and no one inside it will FEEL A THING.
John Lennon – Mind Games
As I get older I lose faith in John Lennon, it’s sad but it’s true, I think all those years in the Beatles fried his brain, imagining no possessions at a four-figure-satin-white-piano-sat-in-a-mansion-on-your-huge-estate is pretty rich if you ask me, but nonetheless Mind Games shaped my entire musical outlook. It introduced me to slap delay, it made me want to learn the piano, and it taught me that you could make personal music, music that wasn’t about fictional lovers or places you had never been, you could just pick something you thought about and write about it, for all of his shortcomings, John Lennon taught me how to write music honestly, and I can honestly say that Woman is one of the WORST songs ever written, thanks John.
Todd Rundgren – Something/Anything
I used to play in a band called Tibet with Ethan (who plays in BBB now) and he always used to put this on in the car when we would travel to shows. I’m a huge advocate for technological advances in most cases but I’ll give credit to the CD here in that because we couldn’t physically listen to anything else (we had only a number of CD’s in the car, and the radio is palatable at best) this record is like muscle memory to me, like when you apologise to a stranger for stepping in their direction slightly on a narrow pavement that also has a tree on one side there’s really not enough room but they shouldn’t cut the tree down it’s not the trees fault is it.
This was also the first record that I was introduced to that somebody recorded and performed entirely by themselves, which helped me take control of my creativity and start making music by myself, it gave me the confidence to stand behind my ideas as a musician, which Todd Rundgren’s latter band Utopia also did, because they all wrote as a collective and they were truly awful.
Backhand Deals is available in-store on CD & LP!