BUS – Never Decide

Bus the Unknown Secretary, (or BUS for short), are a four-piece from Greece whose broad and varied approach to Stoner Rock is as vintage as it is welcomed. Never Decide (RidingEasy) is their second album and alongside the usual fuzzy guitars and Black Sabbath influences inherent in the genre, they have thrown in some Alice Cooper and NWOBHM for good measure, not to mention some wonderfully bizarre chicken based album art.

You are not just slowly pummelled by hard and heavy riffs as the bouncy opening track ‘You Better Come In, You Better Calm Down’ attests to, it is a catchy slice of Classic Rock. ‘Moonchild’, midway through the album with its hooky chorus and hummable Thin Lizzy esque guitar licks repeats this feat. Just before this is ‘First Life Suicide’, another bundle of fun replete with fuzzy riffs and a pacey, hard rocking flourish to finish.

It is Stoner Rock but with influences taken from across the 70s, from the aforementioned NWOBHM and Classic Rock inspired ditties to an Alice Cooper number.

The latter is ‘I Buried Paul’, part psychedelic, part proggy number that would not be out of place on Cooper’s 1971 album Killer (Warner Bros.) Slower, Doomy moments also appear and by far the best example of this is the aptly titled ‘Lucifer’ – an eight-minute journey that starts out in a slow and ominous Black Sabbath fashion but soon breaks into a glorious early eighties, Iron Maiden style gallop toward the end.

Not all of it works though, the Proto Metal jam session that is ‘Into The Night’ is spoilt by a cacophonous and overly long intro and a slight lack of focus. The same thing afflicts final track ‘This King’, its drawn out and ponderous start detracts from the sense of urgency and Fotis Kolokithas and Bill Politis’s dual guitar attack later on.

Bus’s second album is a balanced and more varied outing than their debut The Unknown Secretary, it draws on a host of influences from the seventies Rock world but still results in an undeniable portion of Stoner Rock n’ Roll.

7 / 10

THOMAS THROWER