LOUDER THAN WAR
The new album from Buffalo Killers picks up their trademark swampy sound and adds layers of psychedelia, punk, thrash and tripped-out vocal harmonies.
Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Buffalo Killers have been trading their swampy, smoky sound for several years now.
Having their last release produced by Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach did them no harm and they’ve collaborated with Black Crowe Chris Robinson and Kelly Deal from The Breeders in the recent past.
New album – Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. – sees them expand on their Southern Rock/Haight Ashbury slow burn.
Opening track, Get It has the gargantuan riffology of primo Sabbath amongst its primordial bones. Don’t be mistaken, Buffalo Killers are much more than simple bludgeoning. Hey Girl has an Andrew Gabbard falsetto vocal set against a Duane Allman-style slide solo and has a much more translucent, shimmering sheen.
Close your eyes and you’re transported to some early 70′s free festival with body painted freak dancers and brown acid in the Kool Aid.
Psychedelia is too narrow a term for an album which touches on Laurel Canyon picking, pummelling Zep-style drums and some out and out weirdness throughout its 10 tracks. Imagine Mastodon, Crazy Horse or The Drones (The Australian ones, not the Mancunian punk heroes) through a lysergic, Summer Of Love filter and you’re fairly close.
Rolling Wheel’s odd time signatures and out and out groove works when it shouldn’t. The minor key chordage and Skynyrd-y solos give a piquant tinge to the album’s aura of stoned sludge.
Farewell’s slow, gently picked arpeggios give way to an almost jazzy incandescence. Drummer Joseph Sebaali’s ringing cymbals give an Eastern, arid layer of dust to the song.
Those Days lyrics leaves the listener with a strange feeling of loss and longing despite its Live At Leeds power chords and keening, tripped out harmony vocals.
Its coda sees Gabbard howling “We survive”. On this evidence, Buffalo Killers will do so much more than survive. They’ll Grow. And Grow.
All words by Joe Whyte. You can read more from Joe on LTW here.
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