Rev Barry Frink & The Bad Buzz seemingly exist in some mashup world that’s located in Roscommon, but made up from a composite of Boyle from Moone Boy and Castletown from Hardy Bucks. It’s surreal, obtuse and has a DIY punk attitude that is frequently batshit crazy. Loosely recorded, with vocals that can barely be arsed to be sung, the latest EP from Rev Barry Frink continues to see them mine the mundane into something from the dark side of Pluto.
The DIY ethic applies to everything including the now familiar hand drawn EP art. Opening track Mister Happy is sticky-plastered together and it’s a surprise they manage to keep some semblance of cohesion in order to finish the song. The singing won’t win any awards for technical ability. However, Frink’s vocal delivery is so deadpan and droll, it undeniably suits the music and lyrics. Musically there is a charm to the don’t-give-a-fuck lo-fi attitude, but at the same time Rev Barry Frink & The Bad Buzz lose some edge from the shambolic nature of the recordings.
The Elusive Shift is a fuzzed out tune that doesn’t deviate too much from the template set on Mister Happy. Guitars squall and squeal but the ramshackle recording of the drums and bass means The Elusive Shift loses impact and weight.
Chamber of Chambers sees them expand into more existential territory with the vocals closer to spoken word with the music slowing droning and gathering distortion like the way a crappy woolly sweater gathers fluff.
It all ends with a madcap Ramones style stomp to GAA pundit/agitator Joe Brolly with JoeBrollypop, complete with inserted adulation of screaming fans at the end. It’s completing fitting to what has gone before. Barry Frink and his cohorts continue to give two fingers to the mainstream and it retains a creative lunacy that is free from the norms. However, the loosely recorded nature of the EP lessens the enjoyment of listening to it. A little more production nous wouldn’t hamper the overall barminess of the music.