BUZZSAWS is the debut album by BROWER, the solo project of Nat Brower, resident of Ridgewood Queens and erstwhile NANCY and METALLEG compatriot, already championing the spirits and sounds of our most cherished Punk and Rock musical varietals the world over.
After last spring’s Little Big EP (DIG007), BROWER is back, and the fire behind that ass is simply inextinguishable! Enter BUZZSAWS – a glam’d-out glitter-bomb of fuzz guitars and giant vocal melodies within the Venn diagram of Bolan, Bowie and Brett (Smiley).
Like Little Big, each song is jammed full of sugarcoated harmonies, laser-beam licks and unearthly hooks. Unlike LITTLE BIG, BROWER shows his teeth on BUZZSAWS – and they’re gnarly, thanks to all the sugarcoated harmonies – with several dbs of gain and big city grit added to the mix. From the first crack! of the snare on “Real Girl”, the album opener, a barrage of big guitars and bonafied boogie – missing even in this year’s finer Rock’n’roll offerings – takes hold for a satisfying spin the whole way thru.
Loyal glam-o-philes will clap their feet and stomp their hands to “Hacksaw” and “U N Him”, two of BROWER’s heaviest headbangers to date, pulling together the swagger of T. Rex or Iron Virgin with the whirring guitars and sneering ‘tude of Hubble Bubble. While “My Father’s Name Was Cat” – a storybook ode to our animal ancestors and dads who look like Cat Stevens – offers a psychedelic respite compliments of tripped-out, blissed-out synth layers; “Better Days” showcases BROWER’s tender side – in full display on LITTLE BIG – replete with dulcet sitar strums. AMANAZ covers closeout each side of the album, for two Zam Rock heavies re-interpreted as indispensible power pop bangers, epitomizing the eclectic Rock’n’roll DNA evolving in the BROWER petri dish.
Recorded and performed entirely by the BROWER boy himself, Nat has somehow captured the over-produced gleam of the glam era from his bedroom home studio.
In the flesh, Nat has recruited the perfect band (featuring members of DIRTY FENCES and VELVETEEN RABBIT) to get the BROWER show on the road, heralding the coming year, THE YEAR OF THE BUZZSAWS…
Caution to Punkers: Melodies Inside
Our take: After an earlier cassette release here’s the debut vinyl from Brower, a one-man band featuring Nat Brower, whom you may remember from great power-pop projects like Nancy and Patsy’s Rats. I love both of those bands and I’m head over heels for Buzzsaws. While obviously indebted to 70s glam rock like T Rex, David Bowie, and the Sweet, these 10 songs are so catchy and energetic that I don’t pay attention to the stylistic trappings so much as the songs themselves. These are great pop songs, building you up through the intro and verse and giving you that feeling of sweet release in the chorus as you sing along. There isn’t a dud here but I do want to single out “My Father’s Name Was Cat” and “You May Know Me as the Kind of Guy Who” for high praise. Those also happen to be the two longest song titles on the record, which is an insignificant detail I have inserted here for no particular reason. Here's another detail: the record includes two different songs about saws, which I find a little weird. Besides 8 great originals, you also get two covers by the 70s African Zamrock band Amanaz, though they’re made to fit Brower’s formula, albeit with a little more hard rock influence than the other tracks. Plenty of people will find Brower saccharine, but if you’re a fan of Nancy, Dangus Tarkus, and Jeez Louise this is a no-brainer. Get your sugar rush.