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-  Label: 'BLANG'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '21st February 2011'-  Catalogue No: 'BLANG 30'

Our Rating:
Based in Brixton, but with strong Sheffield links, SERGEANT BUZFUZ are based around the offbeat song-writing talents of Joe Murphy. Those of you well-versed in London’s small venue circuit will probably already know Joe as the promoter at the 12-Bar Club’s Blang night and that his band of reprobates are stalwarts of the capital’s Anti-Folk scene which has also brought us the likes of the effervescent Milk Kan.

Several albums in already, Sergeant Buzfuz seem to be hitting their stride. ‘Knock Knock Knock’ is an intriguing genre-shredding mash-up, showing off the band’s propensity for arcane instrumentation (mandolins and violins at dawn), but also an enviously memorable chorus which simply cries out for radio play. Lob in an exceptionally snaky bassline and you’re well sorted.

The rest of the EP’s not half bad neither. ‘Shift in the Sand’ is built upon lonely, chiming guitars and Murphy’s idiosyncratic vocal delivery, while the intriguing ‘Horns & Claws’ somehow marries skirling violin dissonance, tom-heavy drumming and a lyrical dexterity (“even though I could have planted a seed/ I dug a grave”) which recalls the slightly sinister whimsicality of Robyn Hitchcock. The latter is the stronger of the two tracks, although the deconstructed Oculus III re-mix of ‘Knock Knock Knock’ (or ‘Wake up Brixton, Eat Your Breakfast’ as it’s dubbed here) brings the EP to a close with rearing guitar riffs and ultra-heavy bass sounding through your skull like a mutant alarm clock.

Joe Murphy, then, ought to be lauded in much wider circles. His marriage of lyrical flights of fancy, mandolin riffs and hummable choruses sounds unfeasible on paper, yet he makes it sound like a glorious success in practice. With his troops enthusiastically volunteering to surmount the sonic obstacles, ‘Knock Knock Knock’ is the sound of Sergeant Buzfuz earning their stripes.

Sergeant Buzfuz online
  author: Tim Peacock

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