The Buzz Kills, fronted by Nathalie Gower and aid and abetted by Sam Haberle on bass, has just released a new single, 21st Century Mayhem.
A recent Christmas collaboration with Jam Mountain Music, Light A Candle (all proceeds going to charity) hit, #4 on the ARIA charts, #1 on the Australian Independent Charts and #23 Worldwide. The new track also follows recent singles Liar (2020) and Loving You (2021). When asked about their style, the band offers this: ‘Uniquely identifiable sound, pop with a twist of rock’.
Well, there are certainly many twists with 21st Century Mayhem, in as much as elements from a bunch of genres are thrown into the mix, seized upon to provide a musical palette that, intentionally or not, reflects the thematic concerns of the lyric. As we listen further, we hear this, Brainwashed by the media, Could the world get any crazier? A very pertinent question indeed.
The world can get a little crazier—and probably will. And in the ensuing chorus, The Buzz Kills do get a little crazy. They put aside the straight governing rhythm for a kind of open-ended barrage, a chorus hook that relies heavily on a well-worn chant but one that is, fortunately, rescued by sustained guitar strikes—I can see the Townshend windmills now—an all-over sonic wash that’s reminiscent of something the Slight Bells might do.
The instrumentation joins in on the whole note accents, with dissecting snare fills in between, and the chants mentioned above, along with, at some points, Gower urging us on. The bottom line is, at least some vestige of punk spirit pushing against authoritarian forces is out there, alive and well. Perhaps we need it more than ever?
A little about their history: Gower’s father is singer/songwriter Richard Gower, lead singer of Racey, writer for Hot Chocolate and others in the 80’s. And if that’s not enough curious background information, Gower and Haberle are both ADHD. Is that a compelling enough formula for creating indie-pop rock gems? Who knows, but as The Buzz Kills caution: something big is coming/welcome to the new world order.