DIG., SOW, LOVE, CROW. - Buffalo Killers (Alive Natural Sound)
Here are two messages to all those lazy smartarses that say: 'The '70s are back'. Firstly, they were just the '60s on steroids. PLus a few other things. Secondly, they never went away. Like many bands with smarts, Buffalo Killers reach back 30+ years to source their reference points. The point of difference for them and those other smart acts is how well they nail their flag - freak or otherwise - to the mast.

On their fourth album, Buffalo Killers come across as a Marriott-less Humble Pie with the boogie toned down, or a trio of hairy guys from the heavier end of Laurel Canyon. There's a sliver of Stephen Stills' guitar running right down the middle of stand-out song, "Hey Girll" that makes it glow warmly. Listen hard to a few others and Mountain's less bombastic moments might also spring to mind.

Two big brother bands with black in their name (surnames being Crowes and Keys) love them and provide support and gigs ,which tells you a little more about where Buffalo Killers are coming from. The other place, geographically speaking, is the American Midwest. While Neil Young wrote "Ohio"; these guys grew up in it. There are some diverse influences at work.

The production is unrefined and uncluttered. There's a languid energy on "Dig, Sow, Love, Crow" which drifts at times, but not in a lazy way. This is a laid-back record - but thankfully not to the point where it gets becalmed by a peaceful, easy feeling.

For all you rockers, opening cut "Get It" is as pushy as it gets with a heavy bottom end and minimalist piano. Unlike some of the excessive head trips of the '70s, however, these songs are delivered with brevity. Only one, the acid-laced "Moon Daisy", tops four minutes. Which puts them at the opposite side of the universe from Neil Young, to whom they've been positively compared.

Stoner music that rocks. Hippy songs that get to the point. These guys are full of enough contradictions to make you want them to hurry up and get to the next record so you can see if they can make it all coalesce as well. - The Barman


3/4

 

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