Tuesday, July 14, 2015

#94 Brother My Buck is Empty


So soon after the jangly progenitor we have one of his progeny. Juxtaposed in fact. I approached this almost entirely unaware of REMs oeuvre, beyond the saturation of shiny happy singles. They were easily dismissed as dull mix of pomposity and the worst aspects of FM fodder. 

I went straight for the recommended listening of Radio Free Europe and The One I Love. Both songs I knew from radio but not well. They were marked by a near lack of notable guitar work, with the bass outplaying it for the most part. It was here that the lesson almost endeth, but I am dogged for your sake. A google of "Peter buck best guitar work" turned up three early works that were given faint praise in the form of "the guitar part may be easy but HE wrote them, can you?". 

I listened to Driver 8 (which I thought was great and had some very fine country tinged chops in amongst the arpeggios) and Green Grow The Rushes and was much more impressed. Listening to a selection of later work, it is clear he changed over time. The early up or down arpeggios are replaced by slightly more exploratory work although they suffer for the exploration. In fact every later track was a total snorefest (their entire body of work contains songs that are too long for the ideas they contain). 

After nearly dismissing the boy, I found myself quite fond of the earlier album tracks and the persistent and consistent guitar work that sounds largely original. I fail to see how he come ahead of McGuinn but he can't be that far behind. He is part of the lineage of, ahem, right-hand specialists with McGuinn, Marr, the Edge etc. they are not to my taste but it would only be bias that denied them their place in this list. 

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