Buzzard – Churp!!! (1993)
I remember back in the early 90s going to see these guys at Kings Head Inn (RIP) on Hampton Blvd in Norfolk, VA. A buddy of mine said, “Dude you have to see this band. They are insane. Their drummer is phenomenal and he’s only got one leg!” So I went. I was completely floored by everything that this band was doing. They were tight. They were erratic. They were brilliant. They were ugly. Dudes that looked like street urchin gutter punks with beards and dreads. Never got close enough to see if they smelled badly. Didn’t matter. They were a machine. A force to be reckoned with. I went to see them whenever I knew that they had a show. With that original era of the band I think I saw them 4 or 5 times within a year or 2. Every time I was blown away. Never really tried to speak to the guys as they all pretty much looked like they didn’t wan to be spoken to.
Buzzard was on Hellhound Records which was primarily a doom metal label…but Buzzard was anything but a doom band. They mixed metal with jazz, punk, Miles Davis, Zappa, Yes, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever…
Their live show was pretty mind-numbing. Odd times signatures, stops and starts, no real cues given to each other. They all knew what they had to do and when. At that time they consisted of Patrick Walsh (Guitars), AJ Long (Vocals), John Finney (Horns), Andy Brown (Bass) and Joey Rudacil (Drums). Just insane I tell you.
Several years later I am hanging out with some friends and see Patrick Walsh from Buzzard come in the bar I was in. I was there with his sister and didn’t realize that they were related. Buzzard was reformed at this point as a 3-piece with Kevin Anderson on bass and Mark Henry on Drums. Patrick and I quickly connected and started hanging out a lot. Ultimately he became one of my best friends. Brilliant guy. Phenomenal guitarist. Helluva a nice guy. We jammed together briefly with Joey Rudacil and Todd Owens. It only lasted about 3 or 4 practices but it was fun. I ended up in another band with Joey a few months later and had a blast but we could never secure a singer.
Anyway, I was working the door at the Taphouse in Norfolk and Buzzard was scheduled to play their first show in 7 years. I was fortunate enough to get to sit in on several of their practices and was blown away even more by how much their sound had progressed. It went from the Mahavishnu-esque psychojazz to a math metal thing like Watchtower on meth. people came from up and down the east coast for this show and the place was over capacity with a line of people out the door and wrapped around the building trying to get in. It was an incredible show. They have done some subsequent shows but I think the last one may have been in 2007. It’s time for more!
I keep praying that they put out a new record with the newer songs on it. They recorded a 2nd album several years ago that never really saw the light of day. You can listen to some of it on their website.
Churp!!! is one of the toughest releases of Hellhound’s to find nowadays. I fortunately have 2 copies that I cherish. The album is an incredible piece of music…of art…an experience. AJ’s vocals are simply incredible. If you download this, please listen to the album as a whole. Don’t skip any of the 16 tracks. You’d be doing yourself a great disservice.
|2.||Shadows Without Substance||03:03|
|3.||The Fellowship (varieties)||04:45|
|4.||The Given/Grinding Wheel (including, but not limited to the following)||08:38|
|5.||Ear To The Ground||03:44|
|8.||Fluorescent Orange Bag O’Goodness||02:09|
|9.||Thirteen o’clock (frumpy smokes a fattie)||05:21|
|10.||Escape From The Island Of Misfit Toys||06:01|
|11.||The Secret Doctrine According To Simon||03:36|
|13.||The Return Of Frumpy And The Scrubby Jazz Hippies||01:55|
|14.||Musica d’Apocryphonica (no. I adagio)||00:48|
|15.||Savage Paisley Vortex (part I)||00:59|
|16.||Savage Paisley Vortex (pert II) The Ritual Dance And Initiation Of Chicky Boy||07:01|
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