BLACK TOOTH GRIN - Buffalo Crows (self released)
Citing influences from Motorhead to Nick Cave to Crazy Horse and carrying a warning in a covering note that their album "might be a bit on the soft side compared to other bands on your site" was enough of a contradiction to pique the interest. The fact that they hail from a coal mining town north of Sydney called Kurri Kurri (and nothing "soft" ever came out of Kurri Kurri) was another. So we gave this sucker a spin…
The with tracks on "Black Tooth Grin" were cut over a year at a local budget studio but any short-cuts aren't evident. It has a raw sound and broad soundscape. The Buffalo Crows sound hovers between the dirty-blues-meet-Oz-rock of Buffalo ("Black Dog Song"), prog ("Man King of Blood") and country-rock ("Pete Ham".) The latter is, unsurprisingly, a tribute to the ex-Badfinger guitarist who topped himself after finding his manager had ripped him off. There's also a brooding cover of Badfinger's "Day After Day" just to keep things up-beat. Not.
Buffalo Crows shoot for a big sound - even when turning up the acoustics. The distorto rumble of opening cut "Dark Lord Rising" spins on RL Crowfoot's growling vocal, Rev Russ Redford's squawking blues harp and a hulking rhythm section. "Turn To Stone" throws the acoustic guitar into relief and nods to the Cave man. It's positively sunshine and kisses compared to "Ghost Lament" but that's why it's a lament, stupid.
For mine, the opener and "Black Dog Song" is where Buffalo Crows work best, weaving guitars among the harmonica and locking into a bluesy groove. Thumbs up to the guitarist(s) on closing track "Alex", which works up to a suitably heavy conclusion.
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