The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Buffalo Crows Bovonic Empire Review
BUFFALO CROWS
BOVONIC EMPIRE

BUFFALO RISING MUSIC
Release Date: August 20th 2016

Buffalo Crows

"Any band can mix it up but these guys have managed to gather in all their influences and pretty much stamp it with their own bovine seal of approval. Long live the Buffalo!" Read our review of the new album from Buffalo Crows 'Bovonic Empire'.
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A fascination with two very 'Rock' animals Buffalo's and Crows may seem like an odd jumping off point for a band until that is you hear 'Trog' the wailing wall of blues drenched swampy psych that picks the album up and sets the needle in the groove of the muddy turntable. It's madness (well it is a tribute to both Captain Beefheart and the 70's B-Movie Trog, which I haven't seen or even googled). Think Beefheart, but dirtier, Bluesier, swampier and nastier and you get the perfect introduction to the band.

After that opening things can surely only get tamer? Well it depends I guess what you mean by tamer? 'The Tempest' isn't quite as 'out there' as 'Trog' but it's take on NWOBHM all fuzzed out and darkly dangerous works, it's also the first of three tracks to feature the vocals of Paul Mario Day (Iron Maiden's first vocalist).

What you're going to probably like most about Buffalo Crows is their obvious love of Rock and Metal of all varieties, creeds and colours and their complete abandon! There's also just that feeling that these guys may well be anti-cool (and by that I mean I identify with them heavily!).

'StarLord' namechecks Ginger Wildheart, and presumably will evoke in some memories of comic books, while sonically still making you think Wildhearts meets Monster Magnet in a wet Melbourne alley way looking up for the stars. It also reminds me of the rather obscure 'Alien' (the US band not the well-known one) who did something similar albeit with a Glam rather than Swamp accent.

By track 4 'Buffalo Rising', sung by guest vocalist Dave Tice, you realise that you are really enjoying this shit! Loud wailing Blues with thick grooves and guitars used to bludgeon. It’s cool stuff, as is the ancient blues grilled and fried Heavy Metal of 'Crawling off the Edge of the World' that follows. This just sounds so primal and dirty you can feel the years of grime dripping from the gears.

It's at this mid-point that things change a little. Day is back for 'Rivers of Regret' a song that sticks out for a number of reasons, none of them bad, but it is a song that just seems out of place here, being as it is a traditional piece of NWOBHM; the song that follows too 'Monte Christo' has far more of that traditional feel and as a pair they work well.

Whilst you could also argue that 'Defenders' follows in the same vein (and features Day for the final time) that spirit of excess rather than restraint seems to have returned and it's a crushing take on Power Metal with more than an echo of Maiden that's for sure!

The album rounds out with 'Execution' another distorted sonic, progressive foray into Sabbath meets MM terrain; it's doomier than the opener but just as hypnotic if not quite as mind-bending. What it proves though is that these guys know their shit even if they don't know where to stop! And it's that kind of experimentation that is one of the best things about Buffalo Crows. Any band can mix it up but these guys have managed to gather in all their influences and pretty much stamp it with their own bovine seal of approval. Long live the Buffalo!

If you listen on after the last track ends you're in for some surprise with a thoughtful and largely faithful take on Bowie's 'Ashes to Ashes'...Like Bowie was to music it's completely out of place and time here and a very nice touch.


TRACKLIST
Trog
The Tempest
Starlord
Buffalo Rising
Crawling off the Edge of the World
Rivers of Regret
Monte Cristo
Defenders
Execution
Ashes To Ashes

Buffalo Crows Facebook


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Review by Mark Rockpit