Buzzov*en Welcome To Violence

Buzzov*en Welcome To Violence
When it comes to infamy, few bands have matched the amount of notoriety, devastation, abuse and (self-)loathing Southern misanthropes Buzzov*en generated during the course of their violent existence. The stories are legendary, if slowly fading, of Buzzov*en and Eyehategod fighting a town in the early ’90s, of terrorising their Roadrunner record release party, of Kirk and band’s legendary abusive habits, of the barely contained violence onstage that occasionally spilled into the crowd. But although their rep for violence, abuse and despair was well-deserved, it was (and remains) their music and the desperate ramblings of mainstay Kirk Fisher that matter. With their entire catalogue long out of print, everyone’s favourite Dead Kennedy has begun the reissuing process in order to keep the infamy alive. While by no means their best work (At A Loss) or their most damaging (Sore), Welcome collects their early Allied output (the To A Frown full-length and the Unwilling To Explain and Wound EPs) and throws a couple of Sore demos on for good measure. While bereft of the southern sludge that would dominate their latter work, the sample-drenched hostility and despair-laden doom appear early and start to reach critical levels on the Unwilling EP and Sore demos, with To A Frown actually being a little catchier and up-tempo. But Buzzov*en’s greatest strength has always been the ability to convey isolation, loneliness, despair, hatred, confusion and rage effortlessly and without a hint of posturing, and that’s what makes their music affecting, if utterly suicidal and maniacal: they were broken and they were real. Although "remixed and remastered,” sounding a little fuller than the originals, the vocals on Frown would have benefited from being dropped a little and the music brought up. Regardless, for completists or anyone looking to discover their legacy of abuse, Welcome to Violence is the beginning of the downward spiral. (Alternative Tentacles)