Album Review: “Get Lost” by The Radio Buzzkills

St. Louis based punk band The Radio Buzzkills recently released their 11-track album “Get Lost” this March. The CD, which is a throwback to the glory of 90’s Lookout pop, got so popular that it went out of print within months (just like their last year’s release “Get Fired”). The Radio Buzzkills, known for blending the best sounds of the Ramones and Screeching Weasel, and the Teen Idols, have shared stage with the likes of Squirtgun, Dan Vapid & The Cheats, UK Subs, and The Queers.

Get Lost - The Radio Buzzkills

 “Get Lost” Track List

  1. Tattletale
  2. The Vampire of Sacramento
  3. Cannibal Girlfriend
  4. She Hails Satan
  5. Shark Surfer
  6. The Distance Between Us
  7. This One is Bitter
  8. Cold and Lonely
  9. She Died on that Deathstar
  10. Gone, Gone, Gone
  11. Unsolved Mysteries

Get Lost appears to be a concept album about getting lost in all the wrong relationships. The opening track “Tattletale” is about falling in love with a goody two shoes. Zac’s bratty vocals give a perfect sneering edge to this gossipy song about back-biting and bitchery. The high-pitched, fast-paced music makes the song extremely catchy that is sure to linger on in your head long after you finish hearing it.

The Radio Buzzkills

In the next song “The Vampire of Sacramento,” a vampire falls in love with his victim. The song starts with the lyrics “Now I want to drink your blood,” describing how a vampire harbors an intense desire to kill someone and drink the victim’s blood to feel complete.

“Cannibal Girlfriend” is a fast tempo song with punchy vocals. It talks about the trappings of falling in love with a cannibal. “She Hails Satan” continues describing the woes of falling in love with the wrong girl. This time, a catholic boy falls in love with a Satanist.

“Shark Surfer” is an instrumental intermission of sorts. It shows the musicianship the Radio Buzzkills are capable of. “The Distance Between Us” again brings you back to the hardships of yet another type of unsuccessful relationship – a long distance relationship. It’s more of a serious song with perfect male-female dueling vocals.

“This One Is Bitter” is a breakup song that talks about the bitter feelings that come with the ending of a relationship, while “Cold and Lonely” is about a serial killer (Jeffery Dhamer) longing for love. As disturbing as that seems, the song is unbelievably catchy and upbeat. It’s like a Lookout Records show tune.

“She Died on that Death Star” is a funny tale wherein a storm trooper loses his love when the rebels destroy the Death Star. Lyrically, it paints a perfect picture, bad guys have feelings too. “Gone, Gone, Gone” offers a lot of variation as the Buzzkills try to explore beyond their usual comfort zone. Bass Amp beats the hell out of his drums while Gene throws out some brilliant reverb leads.

“Unsolved Mysteries” closes the album with the story of a suicide, a powerfully sad narrative about the steps the antagonist takes to end his life. Lyrically, the song is simple but powerful. The song has a big sound with an even bigger hook. It perfectly combines the simplicity of The Ramones with the huge sounds of a classic area rock band. The backup vocals are reminiscent of early Kim Deal, contrasting the heavy unrelenting drive of the rhythm section perfectly. The track is by far the best on an already great album taking “Get Lost” from a fantastic punk rock record to a contender for the best punk rock album of the year.

“Get Lost’ was recorded live in the studio without much of overdubbing. Maybe this is the reason you get a feel as if you were hearing the band perform live.

The band has been mixing 90’s pop and building on a genre with elements of 50’s pop that has become stale in recent years. Gene Buzzkill’s punk Rock leads are incredibly solid and understated in a perfect way with metal and rock influences that are surprising. Jenny Buzzkill’s backup vocals make the band something special. Bass Amp’s drums are exactly what the band needs with a solid and steady drive. Zac Buzzkill as a lyricist is sneaky great. Song topics may seem throwaway but there is a Dr. Frank level of devotion that goes into writing them.

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