Buck-O-Nine – Libido

Buck-O-Nine
Artist: Buck-O-Nine
Title: Libido
Label: TVT
Rating: 6/10

As the 90’s come to a close, it would seem appropriate to leave behind the fads that graced the decade and move on to something original, whether it’s by a new group or one that already knows the ropes. Buck-O-Nine’s 1999 release, Libido, has all of the elements of past fads, rarely displaying anything new in their sound. The up and down punk-styled ska-core band seldom shows any marked improvement on their latest release, as most of the songs sound very similar to their last album, as well as other ska outfits that keep putting out uninspiring discs for kids to buy.

Although the production on Libido is great, it falls short in the creativity department. The simple reggae-like tone present in every song makes for one monotonous album. The exception has to be “Falling Back to Sleep”, as it picks up speed and aggression and drowns out the common weaknesses of most ska bands today. “Headlines” has a smooth vocal sound and more emotion is presented, while the horn section leans on a funkier sound that isn’t heard anywhere else on the disc. “A Lot in My Head” grooves as well and sounds like the early Chili Peppers with a little horn added for flavor. Beside these three standouts, the tracks tend to blend together, sounding similar in every aspect, including vocals, brass, and guitar structure.

There would be little noise about this release if it weren’t for a few thousand ska-freaks that’ll snatch up anything that sounds like the rest of their collection. The disc is good, but it just doesn’t capture any feeling like great music should. Maybe the evolution of ska-core has finally reached its limit…about three years ago.

+ rick hinkson