This 7” of noise and grimy distortion delivers two opposite poles of tension, the first fast and ferocious, the other skulking along. LTW’s Lisa Sookraj reviews the new single from HSY.
“Cyber Bully” is impressive in that it’s the first track I’ve heard in a long time that actually sounds scary – even before seeing the rather disturbing video! There’s a tangible sense of doom throughout this fast-paced industrial-tinged song, which culminates in a scream of pure anguish. You can picture young, hipsters inclined to the darker side of things flailing around to this track. The post-punkiness of the quieter background guitar parts, though simple, really providing the backbone.
The vocals are an ideal fit with the overall intent of the track. They sound like a good girl gone bad. Reminiscent of Alice Glass or the innocent Josephine Olausson of Love is All or Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead… but dragged through the mud and on crack or some form of bad trip. There’s this banshee-like quality which stirs a sense of sickness and agony. You can’t make many of the lyrics out, only something maybe about “eating garbage” and “In the middle of the night. I will push you down.” I appreciate the relevancy of this song and how it manages to convey the negative effects cyber bullying has on its victims, including pain, frustration and desire for revenge.
“Phantasm Blast” follows the pattern of all Buzz releases I’ve encountered. While “Cyber Bully” is the hard and fast track, “Phantasm Blast” is the creeping, droney counterpart. It may somehow speak to the aftermath of the mental exhaustion resultant from the first track. The vocals are the polar opposite of the urgency in “Cyber Bully” – while equally strained, they are far more distant and out of tune. It’s this latter point that doesn’t sit as well with me, though any listener could easily say they find the vocals less irksome on this track than the somewhat abrasive ones on “Cyber Bully”. However, the aesthetic, while equally deliberate on both tracks, seems to have a weaker impact in “Phantasm Blast,” which crawls and kind of drags; while this is clearly the point, it still serves as a notable (and perhaps not entirely successful) contrast to “Cyber Bully”.
All words by Lisa Sookraj. You can find more words from Lisa by checking out her LTW Author’s Archive.