Turn Of The Radio Age

Buckfast Superbee

Walking Records, 2008


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


So what’s in a name?

Brother Adam was a Benedictine Monk born in 1898. He spent most of his life living and working at a monastery in Buckfast Abbey in England. He was employed as a beekeeper during those years, selling wax and honey to earn money for the church. His avocation was crossbreeding bees. Before his death at age 92, he had developed a strain of bee that was immune to most diseases, lived twice as long as the average bee, and was fairly gentle. The Buckfast Bee, or Super Bee as it is sometimes referred to, is now the most popular honeybee in the world.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I am impressed that an indie band from San Diego would know these obscure historical facts and decide to name themselves Buckfast Superbee. They consist of singer/guitarist Timothy Joseph, drummer Bill Driskill, bassist Kevin Stram, and guitarist Derek Dutt.

Their publicity releases for Turn Of The Radio Age bills them as a pop/rock band. Let me say, however, that there is not much pop in their music. Rather, they are a straightforward drums and guitar hard rock band. While there are some catchy melodies, the sound is basically an all-out assault on the ears and other senses.

The lyrics at this point in their four year career are more advanced than their music. There is a controlled anger as they rant and criticize the government, society, the music business, and life in general.

If I have one criticism it is that except for the short first track that introduces the album and serves as a counterpoint for what is to come, all the songs exhibit a musical sameness. The musicianship is fine, but their messages would be presented a lot more effectively if they changed tempos and style upon occasion. A couple of ballads would have been welcome as well.

They are several tracks worthy of attention and are representative of the best of what Buckfast Superbee have to offer. “Gibraltar” has a few nice bass interludes, which serve to break up the guitar attack and allow you to catch your breath. “Tilt-O-Whirl” is about a musician achieving balance in life and features some creative guitar playing and interplay. “Pitch Vs. Rotation” may be a little too long at over ten minutes, but it is the one song that takes the music away from the pounding, frenetic assault of the rest of the tracks. Well, a little anyway.

Buckfast Superbee has a number of positive attributes; it just seems that they are trying a little too hard at times. Despite this fac,t Turn Of The Radio Age is a good introduction to the band and is worth a listen.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2009 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Walking Records, and is used for informational purposes only.