The most exciting new band in Wales Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard have today announced their hotly anticipated debut album Backhand Deals will be released on February 25, 2022 via Missing Piece Records / Communion. The album’s riotous lead single “You” – and its accompanying Sunny Delight-inspired video – arrives today off the back of summer festival sets in packed-out tents up and down the U.K. and the band’s sold out 1,000 capacity homecoming at Cardiff Castle last month.
“Backhand Deals is a practice in subverting the ideology of rock music as something that needs to be ‘brought back from the dead,’” says frontman Tom Rees. “Rock should be about enjoying yourself honestly, whether that's washing the dishes, sweeping the yard, or complaining about whoever got elected. Rock is a sweeping power, and is attributed to anyone who performs art honestly, from Lizzo feeling good as hell to AC/DC riding down a highway to hell. The honesty is the same, and the honesty prevails.”
“'You' is a particularly sarcastic song,” Rees continues. “I love how it could be misconstrued as a pro-independence anthem about really taking care of number one, not taking shit from anyone and following your dreams, when in actual fact it's all a ruse to outline the burden of imposed individual responsibility. I think the sarcasm in this setting can confuse people enough into thinking that I am indeed, an idiot. That’s the goal of this whole thing, to break down all of the know-it-all-rock-and-rollers down to what we all are, just people, with opinions… but that's all they are, opinions.”
Earlier in 2021 the band released the singles “Crescent Man vs Demolition Dan” and “New Age Millennial Magic,” both of which are featured on Backhand Deals. The tracks were praised by Under the Radar, The Line Of Best Fit, DIY, Dork, Upset, and Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop, who named "New Age Millennial Magic" a best new track, praising the song’s “good riffs, good energy, good lead vocals, super catchy chorus, and quite a bit of satire.”
As presented on their 2020 debut The Non-Stop EP, the band – Rees, guitarist Zac White, drummer Ethan Hurst and Rees’ brother and bassist Eddie – draw from classic ‘70s rock with a distinctly 21st century twist, dragging the sounds of T-Rex and Steely Dan kicking and screaming into the 2020s. With Backhand Deals, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard ripped up the rulebook – a rejection of rock music's more archaic ideals, their debut album plunges into Tom Rees’ exploration of honesty and authenticity, and untangles what it means to be a “rock star.” The key to this demystification is Rees’ sharp wit — using sarcasm and humour to keep the listener in limbo, and in turn, leading their audience to face their own thoughts.
“With the record we’re really obsessed with denying our traditional influences by overwhelming the music with contemporary references so we don’t sound like your dad’s cover band who are really good when they don’t overdo the Guinness and the lead singer remembers his lyric sheet,” says Rees. “We know deep down we love ‘70s music too much to just abandon it in pursuit of being considered relevant so it seems like the right thing to do to use modern recording techniques and contemporary references to make something inherently new.”
Taking lyrical cues from the surreal, never-ending doomsday news cycle, the album pairs their trademark ‘70s references and aesthetic with contemporary storylines, and influences from modern classic songwriters such as Father John Misty, whose 2017 album Pure Comedy was the frontman’s primary obsession around the time Backhand Deals started taking shape.
“The record allowed us to discuss the thoughts we have about our lives, the lives of people from Cardiff, the lives of people from Wales, and the lives of people from everywhere whilst openly admitting that we know nothing and we're just part-time-opinion-havers. The longer we're a band, I realise that all we ever want to do is effect change in people's lives and to do that disingenuously would make me feel slimy. So let's do it honestly in any way possible. Rock isn't dead, it doesn't need ‘resurrecting’ or ‘regurgitating’; it needs acknowledging for what it is, and it's everywhere. If we should ever be considered a band that is ‘bringing rock music back’ I think I would shed a tear — rock should be moving forwards, not backwards.”
Backhand Deals is out February 25, 2022 via Missing Piece Records / Communion.