Looking back at the list of reviews so far, I reckon Buffalo Tom are the third act thus far that I have owned a t-shirt in honour of. In fact, I have worn out two tees from this Boston trio. Both were purchased at gigs in the mid 90s, presumably when they toured albums 3 & 4.
The debut reveals yet another band that was born pretty much fully-formed. The core sounds and approach are there for all to hear. Bill Janovitz’s voice is powerful and distinctive. The drums are pounding. The guitar buzzes and squeals in Dinosaur Jr-like majesty.
This last comparison is worth pursuing. J Mascis from said band produced this album. The guitar runs free on here perhaps more than on the band’s later works. The mix is a little dirtier too. Janovitz’s voice is the distinguishing characteristic – it lacks Mascis’ laconic drawl and is closer to Bob Mould’s (without the straining).
In the end what is lacking here is a killer single or two. The songwriting is still a bit weak and hackneyed.
File under: Nowhere near as ugly as the cover art