New Music: Buffalo Tom

There was a period in my life (mid 90s or so) where I listened to Buffalo Tom all the time. I could probably throw on Let Me Come Over (1992) right now and sing every word, even after not spinning it in, oh, a good 3 or 4 years. I don’t know if it was the loud, crashing guitars, the effortless sense of melody, or the creepy caveman cover (a precursor to those great Geico adds, no doubt) but something about the album really grabbed me back in the day. Big Red Letter Day had the same onslaught of college radio hooks, only with a slightly slicker production, and the band’s biggest mainstream hit in “Sodajerk”. Sleepy-Eyed was a less consistent, but still occasionally thrilling, meeting point between the two. Yeah, Buffalo Tom were one of my gateway drugs from jambands (meh) to the alt. country/indie world.

Well, following hot on the heels of the recent Dinosaur Jr. reunion (J. Mascis produced BT’s first two albums) comes the original lineup of Buffalo Tom releasing new music for the first time since 1998’s lackluster Smitten. Now a part of New West Records, Buffalo Tom just released Three Easy Pieces, and if you believe the early press it’s a return to form of their early to mid-90s heyday. I haven’t heard the whole album just yet, but this first track (graciously linked from Chromewaves) shows enough promise to think they’re pulling off a rare feat - a comeback album that actually adds to an already outstanding back catalog. “Three Easy Pieces” is sung by bassist Chris Colbourn (instead of usual lead singer Bill Janovitz), and like his classic “Darl”, mixes his trademark adolescent sounding vocals with catchy, driving alt-rock guitars.

MP3 :: Three Easy Pieces
(from Three Easy Pieces. Buy here.)

Listen to another new song (“Gravity”) at Buffalo Tom’s myspace

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