George Starostin's Reviews



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Stephen Legg <> (02.01.2004)

Budgie came from a town eight miles from where I live IN WALES. They used to play very often in our town when this first album was released and had a underground following amongst us.


Miss Fantastic <> (18.12.2001)

For a debut album, Budgie’s self-titled certainly is not a bad listen. It is not one of my most favorite albums in the Budgie catalogue, but when I am in the mood, I find it pleasant. I do agree with how Zeppelinesque and Sabbathesque the overall sound is. But unlike bands that started out sounding like Zeppelin in the beginning (Rush), Budgie’s sounds like Zeppelin in a way that’s fresh IMHO. The definite highlight on this album is the interestingly titled “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman”, and is my most favorite track. “Guts” and “Homicidal Suicidal” are also quite nice too. Last but not least, while they are not the greatest songs ever, I do happen to like “The Author”, “Everything In my Heart” (I do not know what it is about this song, but even though it’s TOO SHORT, Burke’s voice and that beautiful guitar just click very well together.), and yes, “You and I” (What I said about “Everything” goes for this too.). Once again, it is not bad for a debut, and definitely pointed towards better things coming.

Pedro Andino <> (17.08.2003)

budgie. strage name the guitars are heavy and wild it will make a shirtless beer drinking heavy metal fan say yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 'homcidal suicidal' what a funny title. 'nude disintegrating prachute woman' is awsome! the competent drums. the guitars! the bass! budgie is yet another lost classic in george's collection but hey, even if you are tired of bullshit rap like 50 cent, i must say that is the devil's music i stick to budgie


Miss Fantastic <> (09.12.2001)

Yes! At long last, you have begun to review Budgie!! Out of all hard rock bands I like in some way, Budgie has got to be the one I really admire the most. There has always been something about Budgie that struck me about them being one of the more intelligent hard rock bands during the early seventies. I find it truly a shame that they never really got to be well known in America, until (ugh) the early eighties. While Budgie’s eighties output is ok, it never could stand next to their early-mid seventies works. But, part of their appeal to me is how their stuff was never commercially popular...

Anyway, on to what is a jewel of a Budgie album, and IMHO, possibly the best one of Budgie’s best era. Squawk is an excellent album for a novice Budgie listener to start with because of the versatility in styles that is presented. Here, Budgie showed how they were not only a hard rock band, but a decent blues and folk rock band too. This really made for a pleasant mix, and overall, there is not a song on here I do not like because each one has its own charm. Even the short “Make Me Happy” is haunting in its own special way (I have yet to figure out what “Make Me Happy” would have in common with a Billy Joel tune...for this sounds like almost a little too psychedelic for something he would have done. But, that’s my opinion.). As for what my pick would be for best song? Well, that would be hard. It would be a tie between “Hot As A Docker’s Armpit” (Weird title, but AWESOME song, especially the final two or three minutes with that driving guitar!) and “Young Is A World” (Yeah, I am one of the few who love this song, and it is definitely not because of the lyrics, but instead the atmosphere it conveys.). One thing that really surprised me about your review was how you said you did not mind Burke Shelley’s high-pitched vocals, especially after reading your Yes and Rush reviews. But, as one who has never really minded high-pitched vocals, I think Burke Shelley is not that bad a singer. Despite my not minding Geddy Lee, if Shelley and him had a singing contest, Shelley would win hands down.

Pedro Andino <> (17.08.2003)

i love the cover! a superweapon! not like a disposable model it is the real thing! 'hot as a dockers armpit' is a strange title. rocking man rocks! the guitars have a funky groove and it digs with the ladies! i can picture a sexy blonde rock star making it with the ladies. beating the shit out of the pop stars like donny osmond! boy he is so fucking gay! he also gets a muscle car oh yeah! good life for a rock star! he also gets to beat the punks he smoked too much dope in a dangerous race! he falls in love with a girl named zelda then she was also in a rock band called the diamonds! the rock star's name what i'm talking about is chet. he also beats up the criminals that annoys the shit out of him!!!!!! anyhow keep working guys see ya! make love!! not war!!!!!

Tim B. <> (07.01.2006)

It seems my Budgie appreciation diverages from this site in quite a number of places (I really like the later albums, for AC/DC if they were actually any good at all)...Nightflight is a classic. Now Squawk, I feel, is the weakest of the early Budgie albums...and this site calls it possibly the best. It opens well with the dual attack of 'Whiskey River' and 'Rocking Man', which are cool songs, but don't feel up to par with 'Guts' or the astounding 'The Author'. 'Rolling Home Again' is completely disposable, but 'Make Me Happy' is kind of nice. 'Hot As A Docker's Armpit' is nice, but I feel it to be supremely overrated by Budgie fans. The main riff simply isn't that cool, I sometimes wonder if I'm hearing the same song others do. It is not a Budgie classic in my eyes. 'Drugstore Woman' is an ok follow-up song, but feels a bit dull too. None of these songs quite have the progressive quirky power of songs off the debut, Never Turn Your Back On A Friend, the heaviness of In For The Kill, or even the strange atmosphere of songs off the underrated If I Were Brittania I'd Waive The Rules ('Anne Negen'...w00t). It seems to me to be the most unassuming, boring and generally easy to pass over of Budgie's early albums. That's not to say it isn't worth just feels more...uninteresting...even compared to the later AC/DC style albums (which I enjoy, a lot). As a big Budgie fan when I think of the music of theirs that I'm not into as much it mostly comes down to Squawk and Deliver Us From Evil.

Cooper Adams <> (15.01.2006)

I think I may have visited your site long ago, but I just re-stumbled into it when searching for Budgie lyrics. I can already tell that I am going to dig your site.

Um yeah just saying you should credit the song "Rape of the Locks" more, aside from the lacking intro and middle sections, this songs incredible verses and choruses make it my favorite on the album.

Rashid Rani <> (01.02.2006)

I actually listen to this album (squawk)way back in 1974...I was 11 yeras old then...I love all the songs. Coming from Malaysia at that time and getting a gems like this was something to treasure upon. Well we did get lots of zeplin.purple and sabath...but those were considered as at that time we tried our best not to be associated with those band. Funny huh,,,,although we listened to them. This album gives you honesty and what you need ..nothing more and nothing less...classic or not, I dont dwell much on that. Classic would be something like Yes-close to the edge. Well this is me..I love music for what it is....I donrt compare...thats why one of my favorite song is The Osmond - Chilly Winds....briliant song....try listen..


Mike Guerricabeitia <> (09.11.2002)

this band is a goldies,a well kept secret fer sure.said album at hand is my personal fave.every song is a gem,only complaint is"parents"might drag a little too long,but oh well!.i still can't believe to this day that this band has remained an obscurity,one of the biggest travesties in the history of rock and roll.all i can say is,give budgie a chance,you'll be rewarded the pants off of zeppelin,purple and heep(and i like all of them finely).other old metal greats to check out as well:cactus(high-octane blues metal),pentagram(sabbath with slightly psychedelia,still heavy nonetheless).BEDEMON(1971's child of darkness is the greatest heavy metal album of all time hands down!!!,even blows away sabbath(of course i love sabbath).BANG!(a way too obscure early band with cool sabbath like trudge,"FUTURE SHOCK",yeeeaaahhh!!!).NECROMANDUS,LEAF HOUND,HIGHWAY ROBBERY and MAY BLITZ are other cool earlier hard rock/metal pioneers.

Jaime Vargas <> (30.11.2002)

OK, I gotta admit that at first I thought Budgie was going to impress me not much, and that they were known only by you and other few classic rock buffs who would prefer to listen to a third-rate early hard rock outfit that to a post-1975 masterpiece.

And you know what? I'm hooked. Why doesn't anybody know about these guys anymore? Except real "conoisseurs" I mean - put "Budgie" in the search engine of any file-sharing programs and you'll find covers of their songs made by Van Halen, Soundgarden or even Metallica, whose cover of "Crash Course In Brain Surgery" can be found in their Garage Inc. release.

OK, on to the album. It's more solid than the other three albums you've reviewed, granted - although "Breadfan", being a great number and all, is not as defining an opening as "Guts" was in the first album (you know what? I have had the riff of "Guts" running through my head for the past week and a half! Help!), and "You Know I Always Love You", although pretty, is not much an improvement over their acoustic ditties on said record. But "Powdered Milk" is mesmerizing, and there's a point after the long break where the vocals lose some of the "helium" qualities and they betray a certain Ian Gillan influence and also a hint of what would be the quintessential vocal mannerisms of bands like Iron Maiden - a whole decade before.

You also ask if their version of "Baby Please Don't Go" could have been the blueprint for AC/DC's. I don't know, the gruffiness is there, but I believe both versions borrowed from Them's version. (All the riffage from AC/DC's version is straight there, while Budgie's is looser). By the way, I suspect you haven't begun to review Van Morrison due to not really wanted to review an overwhelming catalog of someone you aren't sure you'd like, but how about giving a chance to Them? On "Baby Please Don't Go" they sound like Pretty Things crossed with the Animals - Van's voice was quite Burdonish then - plus the famous riffs were played by no one other than Jimmy Page in his session man persona - Classic!

"In the grip of a tyrefitter's hand" and "Riding my nightmare" are generic but enjoyable, but the real meat (and potatoes) is "Parents", from the "power ballad" opening riff to the slightly jazzy verses, to the heartfelt solo. well, this was 1973 and on this song they managed to sound like a kind of "metal band plays King Crimson" while being more diverse than Sabbath, harder than Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy, more focused than the Stones' Goat Head's Soup, more emotional than Crimson and more sincere than much of Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Not necessarily saying they were BETTER than those but.oh, nevermind. At least this album has not been played to death on the radio so it's one of those albums that you can truly discover today. (What is the purpose of buying DSOTM today? Well, to own it of course! There are no surprises left there anymore! ;-))


Mike Guerricabeitia <> (28.12.2001)

cool to see budgie finally included,hope to see at least the other four classic albums of this era(71-78).personally,i think sqwauk is their weakest album and in for the kill would be second best next to never turn your back on a friend,please stay away from the last 3 albums(80-82),pure cock rock hell,makes me figure a bad priest wannabe is a bad thing indeed(i love the priest,but one is enuff thanks).this album just rip-roars,a neccesity for any respecting lover of early hard rock,the only filler to me is 'running from my soul' but the title track,'zoom club' and 'living on your own' are pure hard rock nirvana.i happen to like 'hammers and tongs',even if it is a little too long,a good nod to zeppelin.the ballad is also fine but the best budgie ballad is 'riding my nightmare',from never turn your back on a friend,hands down,what an awesome tune.i have all budgie and i'd have to say all first 7 albums are worth anybody's while if your into tracing metals early roots.

Jaime Vargas <> (21.11.2002)

I'm listening to it right now, and when "Living on your own" got to the Bolero part, I was shocked! Maybe you have to listen to Jeff Beck's Truth a bit more if you didn't notice that this section is nothing but an *absolute rip-off* or "Beck's Bolero". I wonder how come neither Beck nor Page sued them for it. Well, I guess it's because nobody even noticed it back then. The album as a whole is enjoyable, though.

Tim B. <> (07.01.2006)

In my opinion this is possibly the heaviest album in the history of music UP to 1974. This album makes Black Sabbath sound like a bunch of complete pansies when it comes to heaviness. But that's not to say the music is only heaviness, it also contains classic songs. 'In For The Kill' is absolutely bone-crunchingly awesome. For this point in time 'Crash Course In Brain Surgery' must be that eras equivalent to death metal, at least in terms of dark atmosphere. 'Wondering What Everyone Knows' is gorgeous, 'Zoom Club' is a hypnotic brain blast of riffage, 'Hammer And Tongs' makes 'Black Sabbath' look like a pop song. The last two songs, the jam 'Running From My Soul' and 'Living On Your Own' are none too shabby, just not as incredible as those first five classics. This album has the most baked production I've heard, and I mean that in an OMG ULTIMATE STONER ROCK production way.

This is probably quite easily the very best Budgie album and if history had straight priorities, the most important album of the 70s. It is essential. People say Budgie weren't the most original band (this site does too it seems), but screw originality. If you play something this well and totally PWN those you're ripping off at it, more power to you. Whenever Budgie ripped off an idea I'm sure they made it even better than it was originally...cos they were that good.


Russell Saxton <> (23.08.2003)

Possibly Budgies finest hour, Bandolier consists of only six tracks of which one is a cover-and not that hot a cover to boot but the five originals! 'Breaking the house rules' is a classic piece of mid 70s hard rock, melodic, intricate and heavy as fuck. 'Slipaway' a master class in smooth balladry, 'who do you want for your love' is a wonderful funk/rock croosover, smooth as a baby's bum and yet chock full of wondrous riffing and soloing that ought to send Eric Claptout back to guitar school. I cant see my feelings is 70s heavy music at its best, a hook that embeds itself in your brain and a punchy hard rock riff workout that Iron Maiden recently covered although their take does not touch Budgie's version. Skip 'I aint no mountain' as a lame cover of a lame original but its not over yet, oh my ears and whiskers no! 'Napoleon Bona parts 1 and 2' follows and this is one of the greatest metal anthems of the 1970s, if not ever. Gentle figerpickerpicked guitar building on itself to one of the most adrenalin pumping, dandruff shaking, foot tapping, air guitaring metal riffs ever consigned to vinyl, why this sold a few thousand and physical graffitti millions is an injustice on a par with the Birmingham six If this track does not get your head shaking you are dead, simple as that. If only Budgie could have wrote one or two more songs like this and stuck em on this album you would speak of Shelley/Bourge/Williams in the same breath as Page/Plant and Blackmore/Gillan. Get it TODAY.


Russell Saxton <> (27.02.2004)

Personally I rate this one as one of Budgies best. A world away from Power Supply's metal attack this album is melodic, varied and dare I say lightweight bar the odd moment but I love it.

There, that proves I'm not a one dimensional metalhead.

Best tracks? Title track and 'Quacktors and Bureacats' for me. Cant stand 'heaven knows our name' but all the rest is ace, trust me.


No reader comments yet.


Russell Saxton <> (27.02.2004)

Ignore the review on the main site, it is the work of a deranged mind, a man who considers 'Alison' a passable ballad.

Power Supply has none of the subtlety, light and shade and blues/jazz tinges that appear on the 70s stuff agreed, but much as I love the old stuff I couldn't care a shit, PS rocks like a bastard from beginning to end and if this album doesnt get your air guitar fingers twitching you're dead from the neck down.

If you like ACDC, Saxon, Priest, Yand T etc you'll freak over this.

For once, the album cover accurately reflects what lies within, 40 minutes of raucous rock and roll with nary a pause for breath that got the dandruff flying and the peace signs flashing from me and my moronic teenage metal cronies in the early 80s.

Now, it's obvious that Budgie spent a tenth of the time on the writing of this one as on some of their other stuff and it cannot be gainsaid that PS does contain a few mediocre riffolla plods such as the title and 'Crime against the world', but nor can it be denied that PS is simply a metallic feast from start to finish and even on the poorer tracks the lead work is never less than blistering. At its best on the rip-roaring 'Gunslinger' and 'Secrets in my Head' the riffing and soloing is thrilling and blows so called air guitar classics like Smoke on your daughter and Layla into the tumbleweed. It injected a much needed adrenalin blast into Budgies increasingly staid material and sold them to a new generation. If this album had not been recorded Budgie would not be around today.

Sod subtlety, put this on your stereo, crank it up and lose what remains of your mind.



Russell Saxton <> (27.02.2004)

The truth? You sure?

Well I hate this album. Its crap. By Budgie standards that is which is fairly good by the standards of Kiss.

Why me no likee? Because its twee, overly slick, full of naive anti nuclear sentiments and Budgies best assets, Burke's idiosyncratic lyrics and John Thomas's stinging lead are largely wasted on an album that suited nobody, too smooth for Budgie fans and too obscure a name to sell to stockbrokers who fancy a dabble with rock fandom. Certainly nothing to drag them from their Meatloaf and Queen albums.

It has its moments, Hold onto love is a good galloping metallic pounder, 'Dont Cry' is OK and 'Truth Drug' quite good in places but the rest is not much cop with some real sickeners like 'Alison', 'Young Girl' and 'Bored with Russia'.

I like this less now than when I first bought it and I thought it a turkey then, no wonder they lost their record deal.

Tim B. <> (07.01.2006)

This is just a short little comment...but I agree that this is Budgie's worst album. The synths are just gross most of the time and the songs are mostly terrible, and completely forgettable.

But there is a small light here for me, and that's 'Flowers In The Attic'. Good lord I love this song, it's beautiful. How it managed to surface in this collection of god-awful tracks is beyond me, but to me it's one of Budgie's greatest songs. Also, 'Bored With Russia' is alright. It's still a very poor album though.

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