Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Buzz Zeemer at South by Southwest | 1996

Every year around this time, as the South by Southwest Festival continues in Austin, DJ Caterina finds time to take a look back at a review of Buzz Zeemer and their appearance at the annual music conference in 1996.

From Houston music reviewer Hobart Rowland, published on March 21, 1996:

Also Saturday, a small crowd at Tropical Isle witnessed the curious re-emergence of blues-based singer/guitarist Tommy Conwell, whose major-label career was cut short after two so-so releases for Columbia six years ago. A frontman at heart, Conwell hasn't lost any of his ham-it-up style in his new role as second gun to Frank Brown in the hook-heavy Buzz Zeemer, one of the few exceptional new bands coming out of Philadelphia these days…
Article scan of official 1996 SXSW program guide courtesy of @cohenesque.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Buzz Zeemer - Critic Reviews

Various Buzz Zeemer critic reviews (Plaything in 1996 and Delusions of Grandeur in 1998) compiled by Audio Rumble from the now defunct Record Cellar website.
"Heavy-hitters ... if the word 'catchy' didn't exist, someone would have to invent it to fully describe these guys."- Reggie Beehner, University Reporter, 2/96

 "The hook on 'Crush' is so infectious you want to loop it over and over and play it forever."
"...For three minute pop songs there isn't a better songwriter around than Frank Brown..."
- Bruce Warren, Philadelphia Weekly 3/98, 6/96
"Only February, and already we have the local debut album of the year. ...Buzz Zeemer has something most don't -- songs, packed with chugging rhythms, sprightly bridges, and hooks galore."
- Ed Hewitt, Montgomery County Newspaper's Ticket 2/96 
"Frank Brown, the songwriter of Buzz Zeemer, owns a special place among area talents who deserve wider recognition. For nearly a decade, he's improved steadily, honing a personal approach and writing songs far more sophisticated than those of like minded major-label bands. The wry Delusions finds him still plugging away. It's got crisp rock laments, astringent Elvis Costello pop hooks, forays into pure 60's pop, and a few of those galvanizing moments when blind fury crystallizes into something that sounds like wisdom."
- Tom Moon, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/99
"Frank Brown's power pop anthems just keep getting stronger, especially with Tommy Conwell now riding shotgun on guitar and harmony vocals. As modern and catchy as anything put out by critics' darling Paul Westerberg, ..."
- Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News, 1/99
"Another Buzz Zeemer album, another enticing bunch of songs catchier than anything on the radio."
- Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/98
"I'm not sure these guys are delusional; this is a grand record."
- Rick Cornell, Amplifier, Summer/1999 
"Buzz Zeemer's new record, Delusions of Grandeur, is a subversively brilliant pop-rock record... . Brown's innate gift for melody is surpassed by spare lyrics that reveal layers of meaning and emotion not apparent on first listen."
- Phil Sheridan, No Depression, 7/99
"On Delusions of Grandeur, they knock out 12 near classics and make it look so easy."
- Tim Hinely, Surfnews, Summer/1999 
"Delusions of Grandeur is in my top ten for 1999."
- Peter Blackstock, Co-Editor, No Depression, 12/99  
"...Singer and songwriter Frank Brown's tunes come on with a melodic subtlety that keeps bringing you back."
- Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/96 
“…melodic pop-rock band Buzz Zeemer…has stepped up to the most-unjustly unsigned level since adding Tommy Conwell on lead guitar.” Billboard Magazine, “Indie Labels Discover Freedom in Philly” – 10/28/1995