It was a sad day when R.E.M., one of the most influential and iconic bands of all time, announced they were calling it a day after over thirty years together in which they released 15 studio albums and selling an estimated 85 million records worldwide.
It was last September that Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck officially announced the band’s split, but it was only a matter of time before one or all of the members moved on to future music-making plans.
Rolling Stone now reports that Buck has released the first taste of his new solo material in the form of the spiky, sludgy “10 Million BC”. Originally unveiling the track during an interview with American radio station WFMU, playing the song off of his phone due to technical issues, the tune features some grimy guitar work with a riff reminiscent of the “Peter Gunn Theme” as well as some bluesy piano noise.
It wasn’t long before the new solo material leaked online, with its surprisingly different stylistic tangent from his former band’s sound towards the warped blues of Tom Waits, mixed with the fuzzy guitar attack of punk legends The Cramps and The Stooges.
“10 Million BC” comes from a new solo album, due September, and marks the former R.E.M. guitarists’ debut as a vocalist on record. Singing and howling with a snide grin, Buck has already stated that he has no interest in singing in concert when he tours the material, which he intends to release on vinyl only at the tail-end of the year.
It comes as little surprise that Buck would be the first to offer up post-R.E.M. material considering his penchant for collaboration and extracurricular activities during the band’s tenure. He’s played for many years with fellow touring musicians Scott McCaughey and Ken Stringfellow in Minus 5 and The Baseball Project, and also wrote and recorded a collaborative album with Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol fame, under the moniker Tired Pony.
NME previously reported that Minus 5 guitarist, McCaughey spoke about new material from Peter Buck, as well as the possibility the touted vinyl-only album release, last March.
Wrap your ears around Buck’s new dirty little ditty below: