Bazooka: Unconditional Greek Psychpunk

Photo courtesy of Bazooka's Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Bazooka’s Facebook page.

Do you remember the last time you felt so free that you couldn’t stop jumping and dancing? If not, you should definitely go and check out Bazooka! These guys will make your legs move and your butt jump with their energetic baselines and hypnotising guitars. Living up to the name ‘Bazooka,’ they will blow you away when you hear them live!

Bazooka are originally from Volos in Greece. To make their sound even more interesting, they have started writing their songs entirely in Greek. The band was formed in 2008 by lead singer and guitarist, Xanthos Papanikolaou, guitarist, Vasilis Tzelepis, drummer, John Vulgaris , second drummer Panos Papanikolaou and bass player, Aris Rammos. Since then, they have toured around Europe several times and around the United States.

Their music could be described as psychedelic and very raw, like garage punk with a unique sense of youth mixed with frustration vibes. If you are a fan of twin drums that sound like one massive instrument, twin guitar and the singular baselines, here you go, Bazooka is the one for you!

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They released their very first EP in 2009 by themselves and they still haven’t been to any labels. From the first track you can feel their rebel vibe, trigger vocals and sharp guitar riffs. The most powerful song from the album is definitely “Fiery Avalanche,” with its long and very rhythmical drum solo. It’s basically the drum song, which is much stronger than most of the tracks from this record, even though there are no lyrics. After listening to this album you may feel a bit spaced out and left wanting to hear more and more of this unique sound!

In 2011, after two years of no releases, they came back with a 7-inch IAR – 002, released on French label Inch Allah Records. Bazooka evolved their power and you can clearly see how strong they’ve become. The second track “Ravening Trip” sounds like the good, old stuff made in the 80’s or 90’s, but with a modern flow and bouncy rhythms. The catchy fuzzy tempo mostly does cover up the lyrics, but does it matter? Naaah, it’s all about the vibe, isn’t it?

In 2013 they came back with a self-titled LP, produced under Slovenly Records. With this album the band discovered even more extreme fuzz-filled psych-garage vibes. The opening track “Zed the Mythical Goat” is totally overwhelming and blasts grunge melody lines into space. From “Shame Take My Brain,” which is the most metal song they’ve ever produced, with boiling barrel filled with riffs, psychedelic quirks and fuzzed out rumblers from a dark place. The way in which Xanthos is yelling on this track gives you chills on your back and makes you excited! You can easily imagine yourself in kind of the old school bar from the 90’s dancing to the most powerful punk songs.

“Mr. George” sounds a bit like a hymn or like shouting prayer at the beginning and then comes through with a soft and delicate chorus. The psychedelic sound can take you out of your mind. It can help you forget about everything else for a moment. The music and what is happening at that very moment are the most important while you’re listening to Bazooka’s stuff.

The second official Bazooka’s album on Slovenly Recordings Useless Generation, written completely in Greek, is full of the frustration and the anger that deals directly with the economic ruin of their home country. The album is very often stiff and with big military vibes, which literally seems like they want to go and fight for their country. Although, you can feel that the band is full of sadness and ready to react, that’s what makes them sing and shout out in their mother language.

A big thank you to Bazooka for making such thrashing psych punk music straight from Greece, as it’s not every day we hear about the music from that place. But it’s pretty alive and so goddamn good! The raw energy of their sound and the accompanying clip makes a powerful message that has to be heard by others.

If you already typed Bazooka into your Google browser, you definitely can’t miss their music videos! The very first music video was directed and produced by Ilias Papastamatiou to the track “Koritsi Stin Akti”. The video feels raw and that it was made with homemade material. From the beginning you can feel the weirdness going through that short film.

Recently they released two new videos promoting their new record, Useless Generation. In the videos to “Άχρηστη Γενιά” and “Oθόνη” you will be hypnotised straight away by Xanthos Papanikolaou’s eyes, which are full of craziness! The “Άχρηστη Γενιά” directed by Tassos Gkoletsos rolls, kicks and punches all along. The message is all clear – the future is up to the young generation. They can protest against what is happening or simply accept it and be responsible for the uncertain. The “Oθόνη” was released a few days ago via French Noisey. From the first moment it hits your mind with its anger, power and lyrical finesse. It’s another genius video directed by Tassos Gkoletsos. The title in English means “the Screen,” so let’s just play it loud and watch on the biggest SCREEN you got!

The band has just finished their European tour, during which they played in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Everyone who has had a chance to see the band live knows how great and powerful they are! During the live shows you can feel free to jump and dance or even crowd surf! There are no limits to the way in which you want to express yourself while listening to Bazooka. This is definitely one of the best live bands you will ever see in your life. If you didn’t have a chance to catch them, go for it the next time they will be playing gigs around your town! The demons of energy and freedom will possess you completely. The music doesn’t have to be perfect to be exciting and Bazooka understands this old rule.

This Greek band is growing in power and getting bigger and bigger, with their philosophy which is certainly punk, but without the conditions. Their catchy music sticks in your mind and makes your ears addicted to the surreal noise! Keep your eye on these psych-punk juggernauts, as one day they may take over the world! Bazooka are the ones who change reality and fully express themselves. They know it’s their life and their world, so they can’t stop fighting for their rights. These guys know that life is not always like a colourful unicorn, however they ain’t afraid to shout out loud what they really think. There is nothing in the whole world that they can’t win!

-Emilia Slupecka