Buck-O-Nine

Songs in the Key of Bree

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AllMusic Review by

The debut album by San Diego ska-punks Buck-O-Nine garnered instant comparison to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and for good reason; although singer Jon Pebsworth had infinitely more dulcet tones than the gravel-voiced Dicky Barrett, the band's revved-up reiteration of the Two Tone sound was otherwise distinctly similar. (If anything, the snotty "Irish Drinking Song" sounds like a backhanded tribute to the Bosstones' Boston roots.) So similar, in fact, that anyone who has listened to more than a couple of Mighty Mighty Bosstones records basically knows exactly what Songs in the Key of Bree sounds like: the horn sections are jumpy and over-caffeinated, the rhythm section skanks like crazy, and the guitarists are there almost entirely for chukka-chunk rhythms. The quick feints into the Bo Diddley rhythm in "She's Fat" are about the only stylistic innovations on the whole album. This isn't a bad album, and the high energy level maintained throughout is both impressive and good for anyone looking for a cardio workout, but it does feel just a little too familiar for comfort.

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