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Half Way There

Half Way There

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Busted have grown up, that is for sure – however, the band haven’t forgot what made them relevant and ultimately, popular. The new record saw them work with their dream producer Gil Norton, who has previously worked with the likes of Foo Fighters and Pixies. It’s packed with catchy melodies, the three members shine on vocals and the lyrics are both personal and clever. Although annoying it’s the gimmick of this song that kinda saves it, in the ‘so trite you can laugh a lot about it’ way.

The fact that it’s almost laughably shallow and conforms to the most basic stereotypes of the genre doesn’t help either, but on the whole, this all paints Busted as a band that are probably best off being left in the past. In that song’s chorus lyric ‘Where d’ya go, I’d be lost without you / It’s crazy, time moves slow / I ain’t seen you on the TV lately’, they all deliver the vocal with feeling and there’s a sense that in this version of the song, they’ve communicated the problems that ended their juggernaut of success so abruptly and got closure on that time to move forward to this new chapter.

Of course, that’s not to say that the entire album is about growing up, moving on and looking back, as the band has also dreamed up a couple of the catchy, high-concept storytelling songs they’re known for too. At least more standard love songs like MIA and Radio are a bit more palatable by sheer virtue of being lower stakes by design, but even then, there’s a juvinility to them that feels awkward, and when tracks like All My Friends and It Happens make it a point to iterate how Busted aren’t going anywhere and how much success they’re currently having, that unfortunately feels like the intention. Busted seem to take a lot of music that was popular with teenagers ten years ago and kinda lazily mash it together with this track. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

They constantly revisited each idea to make the album as strong as it could possibly be, and also had the opportunity to work with their dream producer Gil Norton, the man behind classic albums from Foo Fighters and Pixies. Is a eulogy for the Busted of old – penned by James Bourne following on from the era-defining breakup of the three-piece, a triumph in songwriting as Bourne cuts himself open and exposes his headspace at that time for all to see.This was one of the tracks where the poor songwriting actually works in a really hilarious meta way, with the song concluding with the band getting back together recording the album you’ve just listened to and rocking out again and how things will be alright if you believe. It’s a rush of melody and effervescent riffs as they blend huge arena-filling choruses with the classic pop-punk sound of Blink 182 and New Found Glory. Gone are the electronic influences and synth beats of Night Driver, and in their place the band has given us the guitars, the drums, and the pop-punk sheen that original fans fell in love with – albeit, all mixed in with the more mature lyrics of a group in their thirties and a heavy dose of nostalgia for good measure. People might think they do, but given that the entire purpose of Busted is and was always to get those nostalgia glands throbbing, it’s not exactly a reliable conclusion to draw. During this trip, they also continued writing and began recording for their planned fourth studio album.

In conclusion this is a band who have made amends, not only with themselves but also their sound – Night Driver was an important venture into the wild and shone brightly in places but the trio have found their path, reigniting their desire, chemistry and talent to produce an album that will catch a lot of people of guard, and one that will define them all the way to the year 3000. In June 2017, Busted flew to Los Angeles to perform their first American gig as a reformed band at the Troubadour. Not least for a band whom everyone assumed had too wide a chasm creatively and professionally between themselves to warrant reuniting in the first place.Capturing the band’s larger-than-life personalities, the album cover was conceptualised and shot by Rankin, who also directed the video for ‘Nineties’. Though this isn’t an easy listen, Body Void’s newest journey into the abyss yields a shrieking, industrial mutation of doom-metal that couldn’t fit into the blackness around them more perfectly. It’s judgemental, poorly written and hard to pinpoint a moral or overarching topic beyond lines about where friends are in their lives and how they’re fat now and how the reminisce about bar fights and have faith that they’ll (I’m unsure if they is just the band or the band and their friends) be fine despite being old and drifting towards obscurity.

Only a few people I know within the music scene actually take umbrage with people asking about their old band and it being held as a point of reference for that person. Again I find it hard to tell if I’m enjoying it, i’m sneering at it a lot but also smiling so I guess I’m enjoying myself.Half Way There’ has been released on streaming, download, CD, black vinyl and coloured vinyl formats. As good as Night Driver was as an album and it showed a totally different style to Busted than we was used to, Half Way there, is truly the Busted we know and love. All image and audio content is used by permission of the copyright holders or their agents, and/or according to fair dealing as per the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Yeah, it’s not something that will appeal to an older demographic, but from a technical level these songs are well sung, and are concisely written from the “How To Pop-Punk For Dummies” guide. Obligatory comment about how Fightstar are way better, and Charlie needs to do more Fightstar stuff.

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