Buffalo Tom: Skins (Scrawny/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Buffalo Tom: The Kids Just Sleep
Buffalo Tom: Skins (Scrawny/Southbound)

When Boston band Buffalo Tom disappeared for almost a decade in the mid 2000s it would be hard to argue they were in the "much missed" category for most people. But their loyal core had their albums Birdbrain, Let Me Come Over (which included the wonderful Taillights Fade) and Sleepy Eyed as cornerstones in their collection.

Their return in 2007 with Three Easy Pieces confirmed their magical blend of alt.rock and indie.country with just enough power pop was still intact. 

Here that original trio return with the template untampered with again, and have as guest Tanya Donnelly on the lovely, mandolin-enhanced ballad Don't Forget Me.

Guilty Girls with its guitar chime, country-rock structure and pop chorus is almost archetypal BT material and as with their best material has you winding the window down and slipping into cruise control.

There are some classic-sounding BT songs about real life and unanswered prayers, marriage and loss here; the mid-tempo piano-based Miss Barren Brooks; the slow Springsteen-like emotional croak of Paper Knife about disappointment and regret in love; the acoustic The Hawks and the Sparrows ("I tried love and marriage . . .) sung by Chris Colbourn perhaps?; the power pop stadium-rock guitar crunch of The Kids Just Sleep . . .

Songwriter Bill Janovitz always had an empathy for characters which some in the genre don't and that is evident here in Here I Come ("there are people living lives out of the light, out of the spotlight, there are babies being born to people you don't know, but here they go and here they come . . .")

And as they have so often done, they can deliver a self-questioning heartbreaker which drags you in, here in the last song Out of the Dark.

Buffalo Tom have always eschewed embellishment in favour of the direct and that is here in both melody and lyric. So no change really -- and this is the very good news.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

BLK JKS: After Robots (Secretly Canadian)

BLK JKS: After Robots (Secretly Canadian)

It would be hard to imagine a more musically diverse, genre-defying and largely bewildering album than this by a South African rock band which has been swept off to Electric Ladyland Studios in New... > Read more

Patti Smith: Trampin'

Patti Smith: Trampin'

For over a decade now each new Patti Smith album has been hailed as "a return to form" - and this one is no exception. It has picked up five-star reviews in many magazines from senior... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Tom Ze: Estudando a Bossa; Nordeste Plaza (Luaka Bop)

Tom Ze: Estudando a Bossa; Nordeste Plaza (Luaka Bop)

Tom Ze was one of the stars of Brazil's Tropicalia movement in the late Sixties and his edgy music and approaches to song structure and instrumentation was collected by David Byrne for the Best of... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Eddie Rayner

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Eddie Rayner

For the briefest moment Elsewhere considered adding "of Split Enz" after Eddie Rayner's name at the top. But that goes without saying and, in many ways, is far too limiting. Since the... > Read more