You could have new leather shoes / Delivered right to your bed
But I can shower for hours / it’s just so much fun
Some of the lyrical observations scribed into “New Age Millennial Magic,” the new single by Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, initially seem understandable when one remembers how much of a short term mindset the past year had thrust upon day-to-day life. After all, with so much incessant uncertainty from one moment to the next, who wouldn’t be thinking about experiences rooted in instant gratification?
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard is:
Tom Rees (Vocals)
Zac White (Guitar)
Eddie Rees (Bass)
Ethan Hurst (Drums)
However, for this up-and-coming four piece from Cardiff, Wales, the point of “New Age Millennial Magic” isn’t to glorify and relish what’s possible through a life of instant gratification so much as it’s about juxtaposing such choices against their more lasting and negatively impactful counteractions. Zoom out for more lyrical context and everything makes sense. Watch the accompanying music video, rife with goofy-enactments of the lyrics to the song, and the point of larger awareness becomes impossible to overlook.
Half the world is drying it’s already begun,
But I can shower for hours it’s just so much fun,
And I’m splashing,
– Lyrics from “New Age Millennial Magic”
Where this almost four minute long track succeeds with rather impressive aplomb, is in its balancing of the serious and the satirical. “New Age Millennial Magic” isn’t a real phenomenon. Yet, the folks of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard have created the perfect, sarcastically self-aware moniker for what’s better acknowledged as a mindset. Furthermore, the music itself was given a suitably silly sonic profile to match. The opening of the track begins reserved enough: a slow plunking of Rhodes chords paired with Tom Rees’ lone vocals – dressed with reverb, delay, and a touch of distortion – as Rees outlines the first pair of conceptual contrasts. This seemingly somber air of the beginning intro verse fits well with the starting lyrics, before quiet cymbal splashes and subtle bass line plucks begin to trickle in alongside the rest of the verse.
It’s from here that Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard is really able to show its musical colors, as the trudging introduction quickly unfurls to the band’s full sound after an anticipatory lyrical tease. Not only does the tempo pick up almost immediately thereafter but the instrumental blend gives a much better picture of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard’s style, which sounds distinctly retro. It’s easily reminiscent of 70s era UK pop, glam, and garage bands. The song’s consistently bouncy, 16th note driven, rhythmic hook, combined with pronounced lead guitar that boasts that classic semi-smooth, overdriven tone of old school garage (punk) bands, and the repetitious chugging drops of foundational low octave keys notes presents listeners with a fun potpourri of tonal colors and a pleasant balance of more assertive and lighter sounds so that the song never falls too far to one side of the heavy or hammy, either musically or narratively speaking. And given that Rees also plays with the occasional flash of overdubbed supporting falsetto (New Age Millennial Magic / That keeps us new age millennials free), including the touches of bolder band sound is all the more satisfying for a well-rounded listening experience.
All in all, underneath its playful demeanor, “New Age Millennial Magic” is actually quite the public service announcement. But what makes it a re-playable banger as opposed to a reflection piece destined for rejection, is in the way the band has written and created from a place of self-parody. There’s a certain amount of finesse in fully acknowledging hard truths but doing so in a way that is not only mentally digestible but downright playful in its delivery. While Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard doesn’t aim to bust out highly complex chord progressions or highly uncommon melodic patterns, the band’s musicality shines with its performative execution. Ultimately, the group’s willingness not to force melodic intricacy to fight with the song’s narrative for primary space, allows the intended message of “New Age Millennial Magic” to stand out and make a stronger impact given the severity of distance between the dire and the ostensibly unconcerned.
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