110. Buffalo Tom – “Buffalo Tom”

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.

buffalo-tom-album-cover-debut-self-titledIt was album three that lured me (and many others) to this mob’s guitar-heavy indie-rock. I subsequently picked up this earlier work.

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

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