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| 29 January 2020 | Reply

Buffalo Rising Music, August 2019
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

How I love this band: let me count the ways.

The Buffalo Crows rock, and fucking hard. Drawing on a cornucopia of influences, they create a sound which nods to stoner rock and old school metal, whilst not being shy of swampy grooves or punk attitude or deepest darkest doom.

They generously send an information sheet with their review CD, providing the names of band members as well as a brief overview of the album, track-by-track, making a critic’s job oh so much easier. They even describe their sound as possessing a “simple, yet heavy as granite, vision,” which is perfectly spot on.

Picnic At Buffalo Rock is their fourth album, and it is a muscular beast, and follows in their previous opus’s tracks by being performed by what they like to term the Buffalo Crows “collective.” What that means to the listener is that there are guests here and there, around the core of Richard Crowfoot, Joe Barton and Paul Scarabelli.

Otis Edgar opens the album with Devil’s On Fire, an ode inspired by “the crazed souls who like hunting and manhandling crocodiles.” It’s crushing, but not to be outdone, Rope n’ Ride namechecks Rose Tattoo and tips the cap to the inner-city Sydney scene of the eighties, including the likes of The Celibate Rifles, The Hitmen and the mighty Radio Birdman.

Chloe Winkworth provides lead guitar to match Barton’s on the swaggering, staggering behemoth Deuteronomy and the stoner pop-metal meisterwork Savage Sons.

“Even crusty old metalheads like to dance,” they suggest, and Birth, School, Metal, Death is a swinging, riff n’ roller that could have taken pride and place on Twisted Sister’s Under The Blade or Motorhead’s Orgasmatron albums, boasting a riff that’s a close cousin to Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida, coruscating lead guitar, and a walking bass line from the late, lamented Rob Wilson.

The lyrics to The Raven were written fifty years ago by harmonica player Russ Redford, and the good time evil tale of druids and witches and more is as doomy as anyone needs to get.

The album closes with the atypical Acid Reign, which starts balladic before tearing into the “mad bastards” with their fingers on the launch buttons of nuclear oblivion, then Edgar’s closer Cobwebs Above Dust goes psych Bowie… if Bowie was on acid at a pagan sacrifice. Which he probably was at some stage.

The Buffalo Crows have done it again with an album which, while it won’t change the world, might change yours if you let it. It’s a work of dark, searing beauty, a perfectly tarnished metal artefact channelled from other times and other places and made real in a demonic ceremony of musical symmetry. Long may they rock.

Category: CD Reviews

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