Buffalo Summer are a hard rock band from South Wales who’ve been making some serious inroads into the British rock scene this year. They’ve toured with the likes of Ugly Kid Joe, Skid Row and Walking Papers (Duff Mckagan’s newest band) and performed not one, but two sets at the legendary Download festival, all in the space of less than a year. They certainly know how to deliver live, with an energetic, powerful and tightly honed performance that sees them draw in new fans at every gig. Their recent heavy touring schedule and increased profile makes this a perfect time to have a look at their self-titled debut album, and see if it can capture the passion and precision of their excellent live performances.
The first song ‘She’s All Natural’ provides a perfect slice of hook-heavy blues rock which you can’t help but tap your feet to. It’s an intoxicating cocktail of Lynyrd Skynyrd style southern rock and infectious bluesy swagger and provides the perfect introduction to Buffalo Summer’s hazy, groove laden sound. Next track ‘Down to the River’ is easily the highlight of the entire album. It’s catchy, with a chorus perfect for singing along with and would sound right at home on any rock radio station. It contains inflections of Led Zeppelin and Free with a heap of hard rock guitar riffs thrown over the top and manages to combine these elements into a thoroughly modern ear-worm of a tune. Definitely a standout track on the album and well worthy of being a lead single.
Another of the album’s most enjoyable moments comes with the slightly heavier sound of ‘Aint No Other’. This song’s chugging guitars make a good change of pace and give a more modern feel than some of the other tracks on the album. As Buffalo Summer draws to a close, we are treated to another brilliantly catchy track, which seems tailor-made to incite mass festival sing-alongs and that is ‘Typhoid Mary’. When a song has the name of a deadly disease in the title and still manages to be this much fun, you know it has to be good.
That isn’t to say this is a perfect album, as it suffers from the same weakness as many debut albums by young bands, in that the production does leave something to be desired. This means that many of the songs lack the power and impact they possess when performed live and the energy of the band’s live show is not captured on record as effectively as it could be.
Despite this, Buffalo Summer have managed to release an album that is an excellent statement of intent for a young band just starting out and it shows they have serious skill at penning catchy, southern-tinged, summer rock radio anthems. This debut album would be the perfect soundtrack to a lazy summer evening watching the world go by and if there’s any justice it will take Buffalo Summer from being every rock insider’s best kept secret, to being massive cult stars in their own right.
Buffalo Summer’s self-titled album is available now through Retrobution Records.