Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer
Ahhhh Butterfingers. The first time I heard these guys, they blew my music loving mind. They were something else. They gave a whole new vibe to my eclectic music taste. With songs like Everytime, I Love Work and Figjam played over and over again through my headphones on my way to work on shitty public transport and at many a drunken Brissy weekend party or a ‘thirsty Thursday’ playing poker with my housemates and drinking cheap wine, singing along to every word. Ahh yes. Butterfingers. I fucking love you guys.
Their new album, which is released today, Wednesday April 8 via Bewilderbeats is called ‘Bad News’ – Oh hell no. This ain’t no BAD news! This is awesome news! It’s been a while since we were gifted with a new album from Brisbane’s hectic Hip Hop ‘till ya don’t stop lyrical and musical downright legend genius’s. And what a better time than now to gift fans with new music. New music is one of the only things keeping my spirits high at this weird as hell time as our world and life as we know it is changed to extreme levels all thanks to a virus that isn’t here to fuck around, it’s the real deal. You know what else is the real deal, but in a GOOD way? This album. The guys even made a comment on a recent Facebook post that said “Ironically, while not specially about corona virus, a lot of the content of the album is stuff that nearly every band/artist/person is about to go through. Could accidentally be the most timely fucking thing that could have ever happened from the bands perspective.” They weren’t wrong. Right now, it’s time to bliss out on some new Butterfingers and I am so grateful to them for that. This is album number three, after ‘Breakfast At Fatboys’ (2004) and ‘The Deeper You Dig’ (2006). So, bring on the ‘Bad News’ – I mean, the good news. Fuck, you know what I mean. Gimme some new tunes!
The album kicks off with the first single released, Dancing (To The Beat Of My Own Drum) which comes with a classic music video featuring the guys dressed as cavemen and some stellar dance sequences. Oh and of course with Nat’s What I Reckon as God, because as if you wouldn’t cast Nat as God aye? Nice work guys. They worked with a pretty sweet team on this vid too, including a mate of mine, Mike Christensen from local punkers, SLOJ and Slurpee Jerks. Total legend, working with total legends. Again, nice work. The song itself is a perfect first single to release, it’s catchy as heck, it’s funny and it’s got that Butterfingers sound we all know and love. Oh and I bet you’ll get it stuck in your head after you listen to it. It’s bound to happen, it’s just that catchy. Perfect first release huh.
Suburbia is next. The lyrics are the first thing that grab me with this track. Classic lyrics that make me grin and laugh and nod in agreeance. Evil Eddie certainly has a way with words. In fact, I wonder if that’s what all his English teachers wrote on his reports each year “Eddie is a creative, free spirited child who has a way with words…” Rolling into Dem Billz. Again I am chuckling to myself before the first verse is even done. This one features an additional spoken word (from the lovely Fresh Violet) as Eddie banters back and forth with the ‘tax office’. Again, not only is it amusing, it’s gosh darn relatable. I think that’s one of the reasons Butterfingers resonate with such a broad audience, they write songs that are relatable but they are written with humor and in a light hearted way. Think Kath and Kim “He’s using uuuumer Kimmy!” – He IS using humor and he’s doing it perfectly. Delivered into song and sung and spoken from the heart. It’s golden.
Long Way To The Top – a song about how hard it can be to make it in the music industry, in particular the world of Hip Hop. One of the more serious songs on the album, lyrically. The beats on this track are on point. Track five, Black Cocaine gives me an 80’s Madness vibe and I totally dig it. Up next is one of my favourite songs from the whole album, and I am quite sure it will be a stand out for many, the name alone, being enough to catch your attention straight up: Eat A Bag O’Dix. “You wanna act a bitch and pull my raps to bits, because I’ve had some hits, go eat a bag of dicks, you never listen to my set but you diss me on the net…eat a bag of dicks…” It’s lyrical gold and beats to match. It’s golden, again. The whole gosh darn album is golden.
Catch 22 takes things to a new place. This is all about the softer, singing vocals. It’s beautifully delivered. There’s also a real reggae sound here. This song is brilliant; the combination of the vocals, the funky bass line, the backing vocals that echo throughout the track. There’s some deep feels coming from this song. Thinking About Selling Out, this one feels like a different vibe again, like it’s purposely meant to sound like a ‘sell out’ track, as in it’s quite radio friendly, which is what the song is about from my comprehension. It’s very clever. The effects on the vocals, etc, it’s like a top 10 radio track from a mainstream radio station. But it’s done with a Butterfingers twist.
Light It Up kicks you right in the nuts with it’s upbeat intro. The first thing I hear here is almost a Nirvana vibe. Man, this album gives me so many glimmers of all different genres and vibes. I really dig this track too, it’s guitar heavy and it’s like a Hip Hop/Grunge mash up. Can’t Be Trusted is a catchy little number, it has elements of Faith No More in there, Eddie’s vocals at one point reminding me of the sexy drawl of Mike Patton. In fact, Eddie’s vocals on this whole album show the progression of his voice, it seems much more flexible and has a broader range than his earlier days. Next up is the title track Bad News – I absolutely love the riffs and guitar work in this one. The middle eight with the build up from the drums is sweet too. This track really displays the talent of each band member well and was the second single released from the album.
*editors note – music video for Bad News – just released this morning!!
If I Could Tell You gives me an old school Hip Hop feel. Think a little bit of De La Soul but then with some grunty guitar to rock it up. Nice. I Just Wanna Play Music starts off with a seriously funky feel that continues to flow through the track. It’s very synth/keys/effects heavy at the beginning too, super cool. A lyrical story with funky beats about wanting to give up shitty day jobs that pay fuck all and are exhausting when all you wanna do is play music. “Fuck it, I just wanna play music…”
Well, I am so flipping happy that Eddie and the guys chose to play music in this lifetime and I am so grateful that they have chosen now to unleash their latest offering in the form of their new album, ‘Bad News.’ It’s out NOW via Bewilderbeats and I highly recommend you stop reading this review and go order yourself a copy, like now!
‘Evil’ Eddie Jacobson – Vox/Guitar
Olly Thomas – Vox/Samples/Percussion
Bradzilla Cochrane – Bass
Tony McCall – Drums/Vox
With thanks to On The Map PR