ARTIST: BUS

TITLE: NEVER DECIDE

LABEL: RIDINGEASY RECORDS

RATING:  7/10

WORDS: SOPHIA WATSON

Formed in 2011 Greek rockers BUS have released their second album ‘Never Decide’. Having released material frequently, this album looks to be the record to establish their standing in the community and propel their name into new territories. The hard working quartet spent just five days in the studio to record this ten track record, and over the following two months, with the assistance of sound engineer John Vulgaris, moulded these musings into their final form – an album that is horned with begrudging imagery and blazing guitars.

BUS mash together the sounds of seventies heavy rock with psychedelic elements to form a sound that projects each song with power and a trace of impending doom – without stepping too far into the realms of a menacing grit. This four piece create a dynamic sound through the use of twin guitars and tight percussion; heavy riffs and coarse guitar solos are omnipresent throughout Never Decide giving the album a cohesiveness that enhances its strength. It is clear that BUS have been inspired by classics such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, and Black Sabbath, particularly through the achingly familiar vocal tone that is sure to remind you of Ozzy Osbourne.

Singer Bill Politis explains that ‘Never Decide’ is an album that seeks to express ‘the psyche of a person in a dead end.’ The use of repeated chord structures and lyrical phrases are instrumental in building such a picture to display this obsessive confusion, where, as Politis explains, ‘there is no happy end…but the questions remain: Door A or Door B? Time to change or time to die, Never Decide!’

“BUS mash together the sounds of seventies heavy rock with psychedelic elements to form a sound that projects each song with power and a trace of impending doom”

Never Decide opens in the studio, drawing you in so that you feel as though you are there with them. The sound of a test tone chimes in followed by a mysterious voice that counts in, ‘one, two, three’, dual guitars are liberated as the first song, ‘You Better Come In, You Better Calm Down’, kicks into action. Distant vocals swirl into the mix with a begrudging tone until the music fades out, melting into the jarring tone of feedback from the howling guitars.

The album continues with ‘The Hunt’, which showcases steady drums, relentlessly gritty guitars, and psychedelic inspired vocals that initially sound as if they are projected through an underwater terrain, yet crisp into focus as the song progresses. The shorter track, ‘I Buried Paul’ comes next, with ghostly vocals, big bass lines and an ear catching snare beat.

It is ‘Lucifer’ that excites the ear next, darkening the tone, with an occult like feeling that spreads through the spiralling number. Opening with a melancholic piano and haunting vocals that chime in with lyrics such as ‘the blood is still on my hands.’

Next, Never Decide moves into a groovier selection of songs, ‘First Life Suicide’ with its catchy opening riff and grimy vocals and ‘Moonchild’ with its more whimsical mind-set give a refreshing feeling with help from the use of major-minor chord shifts and harmonies.

“BUS have created a pool of swirling guitars, with perfect harmonies and elastic solos that slip into their accumulative canon with ease.”

Thudding chords return in their full form in ‘Into The Night’, a crisp tune with wailing riffs that start to sound like warning sirens echoing in the background. It draws out into an anthem that dictates the concept of the album in one provocative line – ‘never give up, never give in, you will never divide, never decide.’ The album continues with like-minded songs ‘Evil Eyes’ and ‘Dying’, before reaching its end with the song ‘The King’, whose slow guitars labour through the opening in a hyperbolic reincarnation of death, dragging out the closing of the album in a juxtaposing speed to many of the other tracks on the album. The album cuts to an end without being abrupt but still with the sentiment of impending doom.

BUS have created a pool of swirling guitars, with perfect harmonies and elastic solos that slip into their accumulative canon with ease. ‘Never Decide’ is less NWOBHM than their previous efforts, yet this textured mix of heavy rock inspiration and a psychedelic essence has been seamlessly executed with lyrics laced in doom and confusion that makes for a consistent album.

 

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