Avi Buffalo ‘Avi Buffalo’ – Review

21 Apr

On their Myspace page Avi Buffalo list The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel as influences. In an age when most artists refuse to divulge their hereos (and if they do it’s usually a mixture of obscure bands we’ve never heard of and guilty pleasures) it’s refreshing to get a group who wear their influences on their sleeves – especially when the bands they list are of the classic pop variety. Most acts refuse to draw comparisons to the fab four because it’s so obvious and just creates a weight of expectation. But Avi Buffalo are young, ambitious and wonderfully unjaded.

Personally I think they sound like a younger, slimmer and hipper version of Magic Numbers. They share a love for male/female harmonies and both sing about the strains of love over bittersweet melodies. They are hipper because they are signed to subpop, aren’t afraid to experiment and throw in a dirty lyric (see ‘Five Young Sluts’ and ‘Summer Cum’). The album is stuffed with the kind of music that sounds great in the summer sun, all claustrophobic organ, backward guitar solos and fade outs that seem to last as long as summer itself. There is a haziness and sunburnt melodrama that is present throughout the album – that and raging hormones. These guys are only just out of school and most of the songs are about a break up between two of the members, so as you can imagine this is a pretty emotional record. ‘I’ve never written a love song but I will for you’ Avi croons on ‘Remember Last Time’. The imagery is certainly a lot less romantic elsewhere but overall there is a sweetness that is hard not to like.

The highlight of this debut is the anthem ‘What’s in it For’, a song that sounds like the best thing The Shins never made. It’s the highlight but the album is full of gems, ‘Truth Sets in’ and ‘Jessica’ are two more favourites. ‘Avi Buffalo’ isn’t without its flaws but they only seem to add to the band’s youthful charm. The songs do go on for longer than they could, and sometimes the cheap lyrics can distract from the pretty melodies. But these are the signs of inexperience and an unshakable enthusiasm, which are two things to admire rather than criticise. I can’t help but really like this band and I bet you will too.



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