Bonney and Buzz – Play Rough (2012)

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They’re back! Legendary British guitarists Bill Bonney and Pete “Buzz” Miller, who achieved fame back in the 1960s with the Fentones and Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers respectively, have indeed returned to the fore with another package of piping hot instrumentals.

Dialing in as the dynamic duo’s third collaboration, Play Rough (Double Crown Records) maintains and sustains the same unstoppable energy and enthusiasm that pervaded their previous efforts, Rock-Ola and Bang It Again!, which deservedly collected rave reviews from both fans and critics.

Comprised of all original material, written by Buzz, the album guides the listener through a crafty maze devised of thoroughly intoxicating sights and sounds.

Propelled by speedy rhythms and tooting horns, “Jungle Surf” hangs ten as a hip shaking little gem, and the rumbling sonics of “Perestrolka” is just one of many cuts that firmly exposes the telepathic relationship between Bonney and Buzz to magnetic effects.

Brimming with swinging riffs set atop a bank of biting hooks, “The Hunter” bubbles on and on with giddy grooves, while the slinky “Mystery Surfer” and the swaying “Low Rider” provide a more mellow and relaxed atmosphere.

Twangy chords collide with space age motifs on the zesty “Devil’s Slide,” where “Rampant” gallops joyfully to a boogie beat and “Eternal Surf” deftly blends traditional surf rock applications with moody bluesy licks that would flatter the pants off Robin Trower.

Ablaze with neat and nifty melodies and arrangements, “Play Rough” not only emphasizes what imaginative and flexible guitarists Bonney and Buzz are, but it also testifies what a special partnership they possess. These guys go together like hamburgers and French fries, and it’s always an event whenever they release a new record.

Stationed in similar territory as Duane Eddy, the Shadows and the Ventures, Play Rough revises the spirit of old-school instrumental rock while concurrently adding novel slopes to the mix. Fresh, fun and lively, here’s a disc rife with multiple charms.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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