Buzzoven - _Welcome to Violence_
(Alternative Tentacles, 2005)
by: T. DePalma (7 out of 10)
An influential and notorious band behind the scenes, North Carolina's Buzzoven is treated to a fine re-release of their early material by Alternative Tentacles. _Welcome to Violence_ compiles the band's first full length album, _To a Frown_ (1993) with 1992's _Wound_ EP and 1994's _Willing to Explain_.

Musically, the band reflects the climate of the early '90s that fostered similar blood-crusted dismal rock bands; when more creative forms of punk became tagged with the term "grunge" -- still more of a fashion than a music genre, and because of this there are natural comparisons to modern stoner rock. The world of Buzzoven is marked by bass heavy verses that wallow in darkness and apathy spoken from rusty guitars and nasally screams; the air is feedback; a crammed, suffocating net of disdain. They remind me of the Melvins, only more scummy; a sallow bathroom of harmonic waste.

The formula naturally begins to waver as the music inescapably bends you to its mood for twenty-one tracks. Mostly the samples (there is a sample preceding every single song) become grating, but can't overshadow the truly damaging, heavy lines pulled off in "Weeding", "Hollow", "To a Frown" and "Drained".

As a companion, the CD booklet offers numerous stories relating Buzzoven's destructive live performances and the drug dependency that eventually caused them to end the band. Featuring liner notes by Jello Biafra, John Yates (former owner of Allied Recordings), members of Antiseen and Eyehategod, having a biography in these anecdotes seems the perfect introduction to this revived material. Great memories of the raw hell that youth has wrought.


(article published 18/5/2005)

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