you’re all living in cuckooland

REVIEW: Budgie – “You’re All Living In Cuckooland” (2006)

BUDGIE – “You’re All Living In Cuckooland” (2006 Noteworthy Productions)

24 years passed between this and the last Budgie studio album. Not that you can tell, as “You’re All Living In Cuckooland” sounds like classic Budgie to the last detail. The cover art even looks like classic Budgie! No computer generated images here, and the classic Budgie logo is intact! Drummer Steve Williams has returned, and the guitar slot was filled by the excellent Simon Lees (although I understand Craig Goldy of Dio toured with them a lot).

Right from the first track, “Justice”, you know that Budgie are back. Burke Shelley’s unmistakable voice is as vintage-Geddy as ever, and the sound of this band has hardly changed at all. Maybe there are some slicker effects on the guitars, but the style is 100% Budgie.  The songwriting is still idiosyncratic Budgie, except for some unaccompanied acoustic tracks which Burke wrote alone. Musicianship is in the forefront and production is sharp, although I can’t hear enough bass for my tastes. To me, early Budgie was all about Burke’s slinky bass lines, and I want to hear them!

Highlights include:

  • The solidly heavy “Justice”.
  • “Dead Men Don’t Talk” and its positively squirrly solos.
  • The psuedo-title track, “We’re All Living In Cuckooland”, an acoustic number that remained lodged firmly in my skull for days.
  • “I’m Compressing The Comb On A Cockerel’s Head”, the 8 minute closer with its stuttering tremelo guitar solos. Yet another oddball Budgie song title too. I love it!

Everything here is a winner. No filler.

5/5 stars