The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Buzzard – Churp!!! (1993)

with 20 comments

Here’s another rarity for you fine readers out there.  Buzzard’s debut album Churp!!! on Hellhound Records.

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.

Download it here.

Tracks:

1. Cyclops 02:28
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
6. His Descent 01:35
7. Carpetbaggers 05:13
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
12. Grand Poo-Bah 00:48
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

Check out the vids from back in the day…

Written by The Metal Files

December 16, 2009 at 9:28 pm

20 Responses

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  1. cool post man. is there any video of buzzard with aj singing out there? does anyone know what happened to him?

    martin

    December 18, 2009 at 10:30 am

    • don’t know of any vid on YouTube. I talk to him all the time, I’ll ask him if he’s got anything.

      Sean

      December 18, 2009 at 10:33 am

  2. My, this is good. Kind of like a lighter Confessor meeting Don Caballero with the fella out of The Veldt singing. Kicking myself for not having heard it before. Thank you!

    Grk!

    December 26, 2009 at 7:15 am

  3. It’s cool that some people still appreciate the greatness of this band! And it’s also a relief to find out that there are other maniacs who -just like me- still keep TWO copies of “churp!!!” (just in case).
    Since I’m in Germany I never had the chance to see them, but they’ve been with me since the release of their debut.

    It’s also great that Patrick allowed you to upload “churp!!!”. Actually, I’ve been planning to virtually release “Exercises & Transmutations” for ages. I’m writing for a German prog webzine, so if you really upload the second album, please let me know so that I can add a review with a link to it.

    By the bye – I have two more videos up on YouTube:

    Happy new year,
    hofee.

    smellfeast

    December 31, 2009 at 4:12 am

  4. […] Mystical Squeegie of Destiny (1998) OK, this Buzzard album is even more rare and obscure than Churp!!! I have heard many of these songs live at shows and at their practices and hearing the studio […]

  5. Don’t want to be a pain-in-the-ass but it’s not that this a a 100% legal download, isn’t it? It doesn’t come with any license information. I was hoping that the band had liberated the stuff…

    admin

    June 7, 2011 at 4:13 am

  6. Hi. I appreciate your concern about the legality, but the guitarist of the band is one of my closest friends and gave me permission to post both albums on this site for download. If you have questions about it, contact Patrick on the Buzzard website.

    Thanks. Enjoy!

    The Metal Files

    June 7, 2011 at 5:39 am

  7. I love this album! This will be the third time that I’ve had it. Cassette, CD and now download. One of my old bands opened for Buzzard at The Taphouse around 2007 – 2008 and it was the best show I’ve ever been a part of, bar none. The crowd was so knowledgeable about and appreciative of good music that it made for the musical night of our lives. It was not Buzzard’s first show back that you mentioned, but I was at that one and it was ridiculously full of energy. Black Ranchero also opened for them around that time. Joey is now playing in a band named The Kill Circuit with two former members of Black Ranchero. There is a lot of good music made by amazing musicians in this area and most were influenced by Buzzard in some way shape or form.

    pjbudha

    January 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    • Right on. What band are you in? I missed that show you referenced but was the door guy there until late 2006. Buzzard rules.

      The Metal Files

      January 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      • These days I just do an acoustic duo called Honest Man with my brother. But back then it was a band called Red Building. Easily the best live show that I’ve ever been a part of. After thinking about the timeline again it was probably more like 2006 – 2007.

        pjbudha

        January 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm

        • Ok. I think I worked that show. Phelps is a good friend of mine.

          The Metal Files

          January 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm

          • We did play there a few times with D.P., but the show with Buzzard was when we didn’t have a singer.

            pjbudha

            January 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm

          • Is this Sean W.? I’m very curious now as to who exactly you are…

            pjbudha

            January 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm

            • That’s me. I know we’ve met more than once. I saw red building a couple of times.

              The Metal Files

              January 22, 2013 at 6:53 pm

  8. Wow, Hi Patrick, I lived upstairs from you and Andy on Virginia Ave. in Norfolk and went to almost all of your shows while I lived there. I even saw you at Heaven and Hell in D.C. (George town). I was the guy that friggin Burt (English accent) didn’t like cuz everytime my skateboard made noise he got mad and even called the cops that no seat riden 10 speed math teacher guy. Great to hear you again old friend. I have this album great condition the cover only though as the CD skips too much. Metal Files please say hi to Patrick and Andy for me. I used to sit in Patrick’s room and he’d have bootlegs out of japan of crazy bands and some mainstream bootlegs of soundgarden. Skinny’s music owner Steve in Norfolk, said he hasn’t seen Buzzard in 20 yrs. Patrick, I don’t believe I’m downloading w/o your permission. peace.

    Erik William Smith

    September 17, 2013 at 12:35 am

  9. Just got back into a BUZZARD state of mind. Thanks for putting these Albums on here. Especially the instrumental one. Being that I only saw them live once, at a music store in Virginia Beach. Still got the T-Shirt from that. I was introduced to Buzzard from Dave Martin and This Old Couch. Of which I became an active part of it until it’s end. So thankful to Dave for all he did for the scene in those days and for turning me onto some amazing music. And to James, the drummer who always hung around too for introducing me to POLYTOWN. I still have a lot of those old TOC episodes. Sometimes I feel like putting them on youtube, so people can see the scene back in the mid 90’s. Lots of amazing music going on down in Tidewater.

    • Don’t think I ever saw that show but you should definitely post those episodes. If you’re on the facebooks, link them in the “hardcore norfolk” page. bunch of the old tidewater rockers there.

      Thanks for your comment. I’m working with the band now to get both albums a proper vinyl and CD reissue.

      The Metal Files

      January 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm

  10. Hello,

    I don’t wish to act prematurely, but I think it’s safe to say the band is slowly preparing to regroup in 2015, with the goal of recording material which never received proper treatment (or any treatment, really) in the studio. Tricky’s new studio digs should prove to be a fecund space for the gestation of new material as well. Whereas the lives of the three musicians who have spent 22 years as members of BUZZARD have been wildly disparate in the recent past, they are reconvening in the near future to reclaim old material, and record it for the world to hear. It has to be done, it is a grave disservice for it to pass unheard.

    Thank you, Sean, for your steadfast attention to our band. It’s been a while. Hope all is well.

    Kev (BUZZARD)

    kevmodeusrex

    June 7, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    • Kevin,

      Thanks for posting. This is exciting. I was really hoping it would have happened before I left VA, but I’ll take whatever I can get whenever I can get it. If there’s anything I can do to help this endeavor, let me know. Also, thanks for making me look up the word ‘fecund’. Haha.

      Hope to see you on my next trip back to town.

      The Metal Files

      June 7, 2015 at 10:26 pm


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