Budnick - Budnick (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Budnick (2012)


Budnick is the latest venture from Josh Recker of Salt Lake City's the Hung Ups. Whereas that latter band is renowned for high tempo pop-punk, Budnick takes that approach, slows it down a bit and adds in a guitar that has a slight country twang to it, although without losing that slight distorted edge that we punks love so much. The other noticeable thing with this release is that with that change of pace, Recker's voice is more to the fore and as such its gravelly characteristic is also more evident, along with the frequent and presumably deliberate off key quality that he possesses.

However, with the foot off the pedal a bit I find that that vocal performance is not one I find as easy to listen to when compared to the Hung Ups' more frantic pace. Although, the first of the six tracks that really interests me is the penultimate song, "Looking For Leftovers," which is an acoustic track in which Recker's voice is more on display than any of the other songs and actually doesn't do a bad job. With "Who Wrote Holden McNeil?" bringing the EP to a more positive and upbeat close, I do find myself thinking that although there is nothing particularly bad with Budnick, I really do prefer the Hung Ups if I had to choose between both bands.

Okay, I've missed out the first four tracks and that's not to say they're not worthy of some kind of comment but none of them really stand out in a way that makes me keen to pay much attention to them more than a handful of times. This might sound harsh but this kind of country-pop-punk thing sound is one done at a higher level by quite a few bands. It might be that with a bit of time Budnick nails down this kind of approach and comes up with something that I find more enjoyable, but for now I think there is still some work to be done.

One final point to note, the intro to "Song for Banky" gets me thinking of the mighty Half Man Half Biscuit every time I hear it, and I cannot remember if I've ever heard a song by any band that makes me think that. It's certainly not a reference that should be applied to Budnick as a whole.

For anyone who is interested, the cover art is provided by Cristy Road.