I was the perfect tween age to worship Busted when they were around the first time. Raised on a playlist of pop punk and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtracks, the catchy hooks of Busted‘s first two albums were a huge part of my childhood and fit all my tastes to a tee. As we all know, they broke up after Charlie Simpson left to pursue post-hardcore with the also-excellent Fightstar, and he’d always been so adamant that he’d never return that I thought I’d never hear a new Busted song. Thankfully, we were all wrong.
Fast forward to 2016. Charlie has rejoined Matt Willis and James Bourne and the first official single off of their upcoming Night Driver is so different to what came before that it’s hard to believe it’s the same band – and it’s brilliant. I’ve heard it described as “pop-funk” and my own personal description would be to compare it to some lovechild of The 1975 and Daft Punk. Drenched in the vibrant neon hues of the 80’s revivalist synthwave scene and featuring a sweet sax solo, this took me by surprise massively. Charlie‘s vocals are as good as ever, James provides the synth backing and some hugely improved vocals of his own, but Matt surprised me most with his skillful funky bassline that I would have never expected from someone used to playing four-note pop basslines.
Safe to say: Busted are back, and very different, but better than ever.