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Budgie - Squawk CD (album) cover




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3.31 | 113 ratings

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3 stars When listening to Budgie's sophomore effort, Squawk, one can't help but think of their other, much more realized, records. Certainly, the album has many Budgie classics and ultra hard rocking blues and jazz moments, but it seems to be lacking when compared to their debut and third album. Still, a person can get tired of the same old squawk from Burke Shelley.

1.Whiskey River - A track worthy of an opening section, a totally bluesy riff that is augmented by an excellent vocal line. Tony Bourge plays some great and fast guitar licks on this track, but one can hear the enthusiasm fading quickly. Shelley's voice is excellent here, as he is definatly not as shrieky as he usually is. The rhythm section is excellent, with distorted bass guitar and trippy drumming make the track nothing short of a defining moment. (8.5/10)

2.Rocking Man - Almost in the same style as the opener, the track is much more upfront and listenable. Lyrically, the two are very much in the same route. Nothing particularly interesting, but the music definatly is. Hard rocking riff after hard rocking riff, it could easily stand up to what Black Sabbath was doing around the same time. The drug-induced beat is always there, as there are hints of stoner rock already in the music. Excellent follow-up, with intense instrumental interplay. (9.5/10)

3.Rolling Home Again - The Beatles-esque track does nothing to save the song from mediocracy. The acoustic guitar and mellow vocals do nothing for me; even the keyboard melody under the guitar is rather bland under this acoustic ballad. (4/10)

4.Make Me Happy - After such a mellow track as the one before, you would expect a much more rocking track, wouldn't you? But, alas, another boring and useless acoustic number is here, albiet with more electric guitar and a more steady vocal line and instrumentation. Not as bad as the song before, but below average on many standards. (5.5/10)

5.Hot as the Dockor's Armpit - Possibly the greatest unrealized song title ever, the album gets back in pace with this song. The heavy riffing is excellent and sinister at the same time. Dark basslines are always underneath the great drumming and guitar playing, as Shelley screams his feelings with excellent vocal harmonies and vocal line. Steady beats from Ray Phillips are underappreciated, but truely excellent and groovy here. A classic track on so many standards. (10/10)

6.Drugstore Woman - A hard rocker that couldn't keep up with the one above stated. The track seems sloppily played and almost has a tinge of boredom in the heavily uninspired blues playing. Nothing about the song could be worse than the horrible lyrics and the lackluster vocals, as this is some of Shelleys poorest vocal contributions ever. A total lack of ideas can lead to a song as boring as this. (5.5/10)

7.Bottled - A short track under two minutes that has no significant place on this album, other than to showcase the talents of Bourge on slide guitar. Absolutly worthless, but if it was a longer track, it could have been completely interesting. (3.5/10)

8.Young is the World - After some completely horrendous tracks, the rush of ideas start to flow. An excellent epic type of track, the song showcases the incredible instrument interplay of Bourge, Shelley, and Phillips. The shimmering constrasts are obvious, as the acoustic guitar slowly gives way to excellent electric guitar and slow mellotron throughout the track. Shelley's vocal lines are near perfection and never bore. Some of the most progressive music can be found in a band that is not exactly progressive... (10/10)

9.Stranded - An excellent closing mini-epic of blues and infiltrationing rock are found within the song Stranded. The guitar playing is near thrash at times and is easily some of Bourges best playing. Drumming from Phillips is near perfection, as he sets the beat perfect and adds some great fills and rolls that make the track even more intresting. Great vocal harmonies that are almost punk also make the track more interesting. This cut surely cannot go to waste, a classic. (9.5/10)

Some excellent classic songs look even better when placed next to some of the bands most bland contributions. Thankfully, the band would be much more consistant for their next release. A 3 stars because there are too many average and below average songs to make the album an excellent addtion to a collection.

Jazzywoman | 3/5 |


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