I’m going to start with the bad news about Buffalo Summer’s self-titled debut album. It’s too short. There’s only 10 songs, just two of which are over 4 minutes long. The good news is that this is a feast of cracking rock’n’roll tunes from start to finish, with no let up – no sloppy ballads here, no forays unto unknown territory – what you hear is what you get and what you get is freakin’ awesome!
Opener ‘She’s All Natural’ sets an immediate fast pace that rarely lets up for the next blistering 35 minutes. A catchy chorus underpins a solid tune, showing off the combined talents of this 4 piece from South Wales.
Presumably the river referred to in ‘Down to The River’ is in the lush Welsh valleys, rather than the Mississippi – but that’s the feeling you get – this is southern state mud pie with toppings of The Black Crowes and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but very much brought into the 21st Century in a similar way that Black Stone Cherry have achieved.
There are hints of brit faves Thunder and fellow Welshmen Skin, notably on the utterly superb ‘Truth from Fable’. If this track doesn’t get you moving and singing along, you need to see a doctor…or should that be Shaman…
The album’s second huge anthemic track, ‘A Horse Called Freedom’ follows immediately and combines a riff and chorus hook that really is second to none.
These guys really have got the vocals nailed down, and while not pushing any boundaries of range, Andrew Hunt has a very pleasing tone. Plus the backing vocals and harmonies fit perfectly.
Buffalo Summer’s rhythm section of Gareth Hunt (Drums) and Darren King (Bass) keep the pace keen. There are some lovely touches from Gareth which add to the accomplished feel of this album – it’s stunningly produced, which will go a long way to ensuring plenty of airplay.
What did worry me is quite how lone axeman Jonny Williams would reproduce the gorgeous guitar parts live – but a quick look on YouTube dispels any doubts. I’m also very reliably informed that they owned the stage at this years Download festival, but then you have to be an accomplished live band to be asked on tour with the likes of Duff McKagans Walking Papers, Skid Row, Ugly Kid Joe and the fast rising Heaven’s Basement.
TBFM predict BIG things for Buffalo Summer – so make sure to catch them on their next UK tour, supporting the legendary German Kadavar in October, when they play at London’s Borderline, with more dates in Wolverhampton, Glasgow, Nottingham, Manchester and Bristol.
If they can keep up this standard – and perhaps take it even higher – Buffalo Summer could find themselves on the verge of something pretty damn big. I’m sure as hell gonna be along for the ride!