BUFFALO SUMMER hails from South Wales and was formed a few years go. Style of music: Classic Rock. Early last year (February 2012), the band released its debut album, a self-titled one. While I tend to focus on Metal (and the occasional Hard Rock release), I got a mail from Rob from Stampede Press UK regarding the band’s newly released video of “Down To The River” (see it here). I checked it out, as well as the album, and found the material worth spreading the word about. And it’s nice to have something light(er) to listen to now and then, which is where Classic Rock comes in as a very nice option.
“Buffalo Summer” offers over half and hour of catchy, groove-laden songs, inviting you to sing along when you feel the need. It begins with “She’s So Natural”, kicking off instantly with a catchy rhythm and ditto lead. The material is very accessible, throughout the album. The electric grooves vs the soft, clean vocals: a combination that works very well. Somehow this song reminded me a little of one of JAMIROQUAI’s hits. But BUFFALO SUMMER rocks more. 😉 It’s a short song, but there is room for a solo, yes indeed. And this break, so to speak, is very welcome; it adds a bit of spice to the song.
Next is “Down To The River”. Southern Rock influences here, especially in the beginning. You can almost a scene like “Hi there, cowboy.” The music is acoustic and reminiscent of TENACIOUS D’s big hit “Tribute”. Tension is created, a beat is added and the chorus line is set in. When power is activated, Bluesy Rock is on offer, again very catchy. This is one of those songs you can easily cruise to, getting away from the everyday business of the city. The chorus is simple, easy to sing along with. The solo wasn’t forgotten either.
“Truth From Fable” is a midtempo rocker with a very nice rhythm. The verses are also very attractive with a different approach with regards to drumming. Full power and melodicness is reserved for the chorus. The guitar solo is set in the second half. After that it’s back to the chorus and done, so to speak. A pattern that has been applied a few times on the album. “A Horse Called Freedom” is one of the more linear tracks, in which there’s not much change. It does have more drive. The Southern Rock touch is applied here as well. It’s a groovy song, one that invites to let the Rock let you take away. Full power is again set in the chorus. The solo is wilder than before, but the overall rhythm remains unchanged.
“Rolls On Through” is not that different, yet puts more focus on leadwork. The chorus is again of the simple kind, but sounds a bit more annoying, by manner of speech, compared to previous songs. “March Of The Buffalo” is another highlight. It reminded me a little of AC/DC. When full tension is reached, the Rock sets in with bang, with more drive than ever, firm and straight-forward. The chorus is Poppy, also due to the zil-bells. But it still rocks! Over halfway there’s a rhythmic break, leading towards the solo. Very nice stuff!
While the intro indicated an increase in tempo, “Ain’t No Other” is a slower song, another Bluesy Rocker. Not bad, but a bit more bite would have been great. “Keep on Runnin'” is then a far better option. This one has more drive, more energy. That’s more like it! The grooves and melodies make it one of the best tracks on the album. “Typhoid Mary” is also very catchy, has very nice drumming (more variable than in any other song on this album): it’s still Bluesy, but Gareth also added a bit of humppa and even a dancey beat. Last but not least, there’s “Ol’ Duke”. This track takes off directly, as if continuing where a previous song left off. The playing is again more regular and firm. The guitar work stands out, is the key factor in this song. The solo comes in later and serves to fill the rest of the time till the end.
BUFFALO SUMMER scores bull’s eye with their debut full-length. On offer is very qualitative and pleasant to the ear sounding Classic Rock. It’s got very nice grooves and melodies, combined with a clean and charming voice. There’s, for me, only one “negative” aspect, trivial as it may be/sound: the band tends to stick to the same structure for their songs, which makes things a little predictable. That’s probably inherent to the style, but still… Other than that, if you are into Classic Rock or like something different on your musical plate, then by all means, check out BUFFALO SUMMER’s album.
- She’s So Natural
- Down To The River
- Truth From Fable
- A Horse Called Freedom
- Rolls On Through
- March Of The Buffalo
- Ain’t No Other
- Keep On Runnin’
- Typhoid Mary
- Ol’ Duke
Andrew Hunt – vocals
Jonny Williams – guitar, backing vocals
Darren King – bass, backing vocals
Gareth Hunt – drums, percussion
More info at http://buffalosummer.net/