3MS are still a relatively new-ish label, and have been releasing some quality stuff since they emerged on the scene, with a lot of buzz engendered for both the label and their acts. The latest buzz is around a band whose name, in a Dutch translation of "niks", which means "nothing", would imply there's zero fuss to be found here. Quite the contrary, as the self-titled debut album from this UK quartet features the onetime bassist for Squeeze (the band featuring Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford and, originally, rhythm and blues + genre malleable maestro, Jools Holland).
With Bentley taking on guitar/vocal duties, The Buzniks also feature Frankie Dann on drums/vocals, Alan Betts on bass/vocals and Brian Hartley on slide guitar and vocals. With their music described in press blurb as "a timeless kind of goodtime songwriting", that's a perfect, general summary of what we have here. No frills, back-to-basics, finely crafted songs that can't particularly be posited in the here and now or past, but will undoubtedly still sound relevant in the years to come.
There are, of course, some retro sounds... Bentley's been around the block a few times over the years, aside from his time in Squeeze, working with luminaries such as Elvis Costello, Sting and Keith Emerson. So, there are some seemingly inescapable echoes of past ventures and sounds of yore. But these have been moulded into a series of compositions where retro nods are mere infusions rather than predominant. Although, having said that, 'Rockababy' is unashamedly retro, with a rockabilly bias through and through.
A few compositional curveballs are also brought into the tracklist - including instrumental number 'Gymnopédie No.1', which is a surprisingly sublime interlude; and 'Waiting for the End of the World', a more downbeat, quirky offering. But it's generally all about the "goodtime" stuff. Bentley and co. certainly sound like they were having a goodtime and, indubitably, so will their listening audience.
Review by Mark Holmes
17th November 2018
2) About You
3) Last Train
4) Gymnopedie No.1
5) I Got Nothing to Lose
6) Nail It To The Floor
8) Lost in the Wind
9) 43 Years
10) Waiting for the End of the World
11) I Know Now
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Bentley's been around the block a few times over the years, aside from his time in Squeeze, working with luminaries such as Elvis Costello, Sting and Keith Emerson. So, there are some seemingly inescapable echoes of past ventures and sounds of yore."