Buñuel are a super-group, but are they a super group? Okay, let’s just stop with this all-too-fancy-approach right there. Buñuel is a group of musicians with strong musical backgrounds and lots of experience – so in that sense they are a super-group just like Them Crooked Vultures. But they are also a no-nonsense-straight-forward beast of a rock band and in that sense Buñuel is surely a super group. If you need proof listen to their new record Killers Like Us!
Whenever listening to Buñuel a certain feeling of dread can overcome the listener, because the music is surely made to please its originators first of all. However, that shall not say that their music is a cacophony of non-related sounds, because there is surely some kind of scheme and order behind the tracks that one has to work out. Nevertheless, the latter implies a sort of non-accessibility with would not be true for Killers Like Us as the record definitely holds of highly appealing things at the ready for your first listening comfort and then offers much more for a deeper dive.
The record constructed by Xabier Iriondo (some might know him from Afterhours) and Pierpaolo Capovilla and Franz Valente (both from Il Teatro Degli Orrori) and finally Kasia Robinson (from Maneki Negro), who does guest vocals on the record, and her husband, Eugene S. Robinson (Oxbow) – so yes, we can assess that this collective is just what a super-group can be. On the other side, it is necessary to dismiss this idea as the term “super-group” usually creates unreachable expectations as the group never tries to please OUR expectations, when talking to Eugene, one has the feeling as if they are not even trying to meet expectations from other group members in the process. The music on which his vocal chords twist, bend, break, re-assemble, march and stop is a whirlwind of deeply intimidating industrial, noise and post-punk. Some of it sounds as if marching through a glass-field filled with land mines (listen to the ending of the last track ”Even the Jungle”), other parts have the impact of a stampede of rhinos aiming right for your chest (”When God Used A Rope” is a good example here).
Eugene says he never knows what kind of tracks he will get to lay his vocals down onto, and I would add that the muscular composition of the tracks is quite reminding of the Whipping Boy and early Oxbow-years. One has the feeling as if the band is in “attack-mode” - not only on the listener but also on the participants – and nevertheless they all get together in the end and the result are some songs in a triangular boxing ring with the sounds and lyrics being bounced off the ropes between the corners of Jesus Lizard, Nine Inch Nails and The Birthday Party.
The band is named after a really brilliant but somehow also marginalized Spanish director whose movies are painting pictures on celluloid but who was later criticized for being subversive and scandalous (partially also because of not having been understood) – and in that context we have to talk about the ambiguity of the title – either they are trying to criticize mankind (“killers who are just like us”) or it could be seen like a frivolous gesture (“killers are fond of us”), one has to find out for oneself or follow VoS closely (;-)): which way you choose – Buñuel can accept it. The music speaks for itself and titles like ”For The Cops” speak volumes with lines likes ”Stood at the back of the padded room / clothes bundled on the floor / the cops standing in front of the door“. The band knows about their understanding of the songs – you can choose yours. A very Buñuel-kind of way.
Killers Like Us is an intriguing record full of perfectly blended record holding something for everyone who like his music holding a bit of the old-time favorite of intimidation. For all the others: don’t be scared, they are no killers, they’re just a super group with great music and an awesome vocalists!