Ben Clarke (Metal Flake Mother), John Plymale (The Pressure Boys, The Sex Police) and Jody Maxwell (The Sex Police, Gumption) are experienced Chapel Hill rockers and their self-titled, self-released debut record as Bustello sounds like it.
There’s a good amount of reverb throughout the album, but it’s never overwhelming. The album still sounds crisp and tight overall. Bustello is firmly rooted in early 90’s style rock, but there are sprinkles of surf, southern and latin rock influences.
The album starts off strong with catchy melodies on both “No Right of Mine” and “Ocean”, but it weakens after that. It feels like the focus shifts slightly from the melodies to the verses. It does help to give the album some sonic diversity, but it takes away from Bustello’s strength.
Having written that, there is one song where is pays off and the band puts it all together without making sacrifices. The sultry verses of “Heaven” gradually develop into a soaring chorus. The way the disparate styles blend in and out of one another makes this the high point of the album.
As it should be with self-titled debuts, this record isn’t really about anything as much as it is an introduction to the band themselves. Bustello sounds like three guys having fun doing what they do best.
Bustello is out now and available via iTunes and CD Baby.