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PowerSolo – Buzz Human

PowerSolo, Buzz Human

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

POWERSOLO’S fifth studio album is the type of offering that sabotages itself repeatedly. Whenever you think you’re going to like it, Buzz Human does something to piss you off.

PowerSolo are The Railthin Brothers and, by their own admission, this is a heady slice of trash-rock psycho-billy that pays homage to Hasil Adkins and The Cramps while investing proceedings with the brothers’ signature black humour and their penchant for spoken word and manic shouts.

It sounds very retro and leans heavily towards the edgy and psychedelic. But while fun and even cool in places (almost as though some tracks were auditioning for a shot on the soundtrack of the equally debauched hit TV show Californication) it’s also annoying and unrelenting at others.

Indeed, the longer it continues, the less likely you are to remain loyal to it and see things through.

PowerSolo have made a cult name for themselves as two brothers armed with two guitars and a drum kit who are tirelessly working to perfect “a very minimalist, almost drone-line album”. And therein lies another problem… by their own admission it adheres to a strict formula, while the word ‘drone’ is never one to endear listeners who prefer a keen respect for a tight melody.

So, what works and what doesn’t? It’s easier to concentrate on the hits, as they’re fewer.

I Love You But I Hate You kicks things off, after a spoken word intro from Sebastien Doubinsky, with a keen lyrical juxtaposition and some surf rock guitars and chiming melodies. It’s coated in retro values and is fun.

Hear My Plea contains some interesting guitar work and some trippy vocals and lyrics (“I’ve got spiders in my head”), Creepy is a fantastic slice of psych-pop that is the closest thing PowerSolo come to a mainstream offering. Yes, it’s still retro leaning and the vocals and lyrics continue to be edgy (even dirty) but it’s a good time for the adult listener.

But thereafter, the good moments are fewer and further between with moments like the thrash-rock of The Rither, the drone rock of She Fights Your Boredom With Her Soul and the endless repetitiveness of To Hell making you want to tear your hair out.

Other moments offer highs and lows often mid-track (such as Acid Orchid being a prime example of a track that starts deceptively crappy but unfolds into something of a belter).

All in all, though, this is too ‘out there’ and too prone to hideous excess to be totally recommendable. It’s what downloading selected tracks is all about. So, here’s the ones we really recommend…

Download picks: I Love You But I Hate You, Hear My Plea, Creepy, Acid Orchid

Track listing:

  1. PowerSolo by Sebastien Doubinsky
  2. I Love You But I Hate You
  3. Took It To Me Pads
  4. Hear My Plea
  5. Satisfy The Man
  6. Creepy
  7. Acid Orchid feat. Celina Ozymandias
  8. The Rither
  9. Teach You Fun
  10. Sensation feat Joachim Leksell
  11. Got No Fear
  12. To Hell
  13. She Fights Your Boredom With Her Soul
  14. I Don’t Want Assistance
  15. I Miss You