Luke Haines & Peter Buck: Beat Poetry for Survivalists – the results may surprise you

Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 05:00

Haines & Buck? Fripp & Eno for the jilted generation.  

Beat Poetry for Survivalists

Luke Haines & Peter Buck

Cherry Red


For some this is a match made in alt rock heaven, for others it’s a conundrum that won’t be solved without head scratching. Whatever you make of it, it’s probably the first collaboration between a British left-of-centre musician and an American affiliated to one of the biggest bands in the world.

Luke Haines, previously a member of The Auteurs and Black Box Recorder, has joined up with Peter Buck, former lead guitarist with R.E.M – the results might surprise you, but only if you haven’t been keeping tabs on each musician. In short, Beat Poetry… is a lesson in garage rock aesthetics, imbued with peculiar Brit-centric narrative arcs (Haines is especially good at these), grungy swathes of electric guitars (Buck’s your man) and added dissonant sonic flavours courtesy of multi-instrumentalist Scott McCaughey and drummer Linda Pitmon, currently Buck’s colleagues in his latest group, Filthy Friends.

Beat poetry

The songs are pithy excursions. Ugly Dude Blues is exactly as the liner notes describes (“an old Troggs song that Reg Presley didn’t get around to writing so we wrote it for him”). Jack Parsons touches on elements of the real-life American rocket scientist and occultist to a background of throbbing, insidious psychedelia. Apocalypse Beach, meanwhile, invents the story of a radio station that only plays Donovan songs. Haines & Buck? Fripp & Eno for the jilted generation.