Bz Bz Ueu

1992 to 2000
Bari, Italy

The power-charged avant-punk group Bz Bz Ueu is Italy’s answer to Ne Zhdali.
Backing cut-and-paste quirkiness with the use of horns (sax and trumpet) and tons of children toys, this band’s music is one hell of a ride.
The nucleus of Bz Bz Ueu formed around 1992. Bassist Pino Montecalvo and guitarist Efisio Biancofiore began to write songs together at that time. The addition of drummer Carlo Lupori, who saw them perform in a local bar with a drum machine, opened more possibilities in terms of stamina. By the end of 1994, the group had expanded to a quintet with trumpeter Edy Leo and saxophonist Jacopo Andreini.
A first, eponymous Cd Ep came out in 1995, presenting their own brew of punk rock and hardcore-jazz. Sounding like The Ex meets the circus of European rockers Ne Zhdali or Uz Jsme Doma, the album gathered good reviews locally and attracted the attention of american punkers God Is My Co-Pilot. The label Music ‘a la Coque, established by Montecalvo to produce the band’s music, released in 1996 and 1998 two split 7″ with God-Co and the spin-off No.
A second cd, Uhozmerigotz, was released in late 2000, showing a clear evolution toward the wacky side of things with the addition of toys, animal calls, and other miscellaneous items, while sticking to up-tempo punk energy.


May, 2000
7 tracks
20 minutes

It’s striking how much this cd sounds like John Zorn’s Masada project, which is a terrific combination of zorny noise, really fast riffing and traditional jewish music. A note from Bz Bz Ueu bassist Pino Montecalvo that arrived with the cd clears things up quickly: it says that Bz Bz Ueu is a combination of free jazz, noise, punk, children’s music and south italian folk/tarantella music. So here’s a potential hint for anyone out there thinking of starting up a sucky rock band: don’t do it!!! Instead, learn to play your instrument really fast, learn to make funny noises with some other instruments/toys, immerse yourself in the music of some culture with which you feel a particular affinity, and then smush them all together until something great comes out! Since calling Bz Bz Ueu ”the italian Masada” probably won’t mean much to a lot of people, i guess i should be a little more descriptive. There are seven tracks on Uhozmerigotz, all of them pretty short, as the whole cd comes in at just over 20 minutes. What the tracks lack in length they make up for in girth…uh, i mean depth. The jazz lineage of this music is betrayed by the band’s primary instrumentation: guitar, drums, trumpet, bass and sax. Parametro Biancofiore is a quick-change number that deftly switches from obsessive, glenn branca-style guitar/bass/drums pounding to funky, sax-based jazz riffing. Lo Flopper lays down a hard groove and then proceeds to stomp all over it with some nutso bass playing and shredding sax/guitar duets. For a while, Tempo Sinistro sounds like it’s going to be a quirky jazz tune, but soon the sax and drums get restless and start going hog wild again. This is one of the zorniest tracks on the cd, particularly when the sax starts squealing like…well, like a squealing sax. Circolo C is another quick-change tune, this time switching back and forth from a dense guitar/bass/drums riff to a pee wee herman-style circus tune. The spirit of pee wee’s big adventure seems to inhabit the next track, W Laa…, As well. It’s got some great riffing, along with lots of silly sound effects and toy sounds. The disc’s title track, Uhozmerigotz, continues with the toy sound theme, this time punctuating a simple, fast riff with various squawks, screams and buzzes. Finally, Dipu closes things out with a loud, fast, scronky jam. I don’t know whether Bz Bz Ueu’s zorniness is intentional or not, but i don’t think it really matters. This is a terrific cd with seven good sounding, creative and very well played tracks. Even the packaging is super. It would be interesting to hear what would happen if the south italian folk elements were given a more prominent role in the music; i’m guessing it would help Bz Bz Ueu create a more distinctive, identifiable sound. Maybe next time. In the mean time, this is my new favorite disc of italian-punk-tarantella music. (Irving bellemead,Splendid)