Ever since I became a member of ProgArchives.com, I get requests to review a CD or include a band in the archives. Sometimes, the combination works, like with Feedforward or Edensong. On other occasions, I can do one but not the other, simply because the music doesn’t fit the criteria to be considered prog. Such is the case with Bunch of Bunk, a Tilburg quintet that focusses on old school hard rock. They’re not prog, they’re not prog related, but they definitely rock.
They’re self produced album Pleased to Meet You is available online, for those who like hard rock as it was played in the seventies and nineties, but with a modern production sound.
A few highlights… Tracks like Pleased to Meet You and In My Head remind me of Styx and Boston. Not because they are rip offs, but the sound of the vocals and guitars contain hints of these bands. This leads to surprise by the time I get to Seven Sins, which is suddenly a lot darker and heavier, maybe even a bit Black Sabbath like. Amazing is again a different thing altogether, starting with a clean guitar intro and a Thunder like intro before developing into a slow rocker again, this time even with a backing chorus. As a bass player, I have to love the prominent bass in Fakin’, although I think there was more room for (bass) creativity there.
Talking about bass, the production of the album is quite good. But as with a lot of hard rock albums, I always end up feeling that the guitars are a bit too prominent in the mix, sometimes they even muffle the vocals – which is a pity. There are five fine musicians in the band, not only 2 guitarists. Luckily, the album also contains the semi-balled Hope You Will, where the band proves there’s a different balance possible as well.
Overall, this band reminds me of music I used to listen to about 20-25 years ago (now I feel old…), when a lot of young Dutch and Belgian bands were trying to get into ‘the scene’ by playing their favourite hard rock. They took ideas of Van Halen, Styx, Boston, Led Zeppelin and then created their own sound – with varying levels of success. Bunch of Bunk does something similar, although their influences clearly also include some younger bands than the ones listed above.
Apparently, this style of music is not dead, and there are still people who take the time to write it, record it and bring it to the audience. Not the audience that brings you millions, but as stated on their web sites, these guys play their music, and recorded the CD, mainly for the fun of being able to do it. It’s a pity I missed their gig on February 19th, might have been a good old ‘hard rockin’ party’.