Although formed in Boston, MA in 1986, this band's recording career has mostly taken place during the 90's. However, I have chosen to categorize Buffalo Tom in this genre because 1) they formed at University of Massachusetts 2) their first album was released on the famous Black Flag punk indie label, SST, and Buffalo Tom has remained close to its indie roots through various compilations, and 3) the punk influence throughout most of their albums is undeniable. There is really no such thing as a bad Buffalo Tom album, which is a rare remark about any band that has released more than 5 albums. Earlier works such as Buffalo Tom & Birdbrain are indeed masterpieces in their own right while still managing to keep that "rough-around-the-edges, not over-produced, garage-rock sound." Big Red Letter Day is more refined and less punk-influenced (perhaps because it was the first album not produced by Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis), but still contains some of the band's greatest work, including "torch singer", "tree house," and "latest monkey." The band reached its pinnacle with the album Sleepy-eyed, which demonstrated a return to its post-punk roots, but a more mature song-writing approach. The band has struggled with critical comparison to indie favorites, Dinosaur, Jr. throughout its career. Most likely, the reason is in lead singer Bill Janovitz's raspy, grunting voice, and obviously in J Mascis' influence as producer of Buffalo Tom's first two albums. However, regarding pure song-writing ability, I just might rank Buffalo Tom ahead of Dinosaur Jr.
"My So-Called Life" soundtrack, and songs on tribute albums for both The Velvet Underground and The Jam.
REVIEWS:Gimme' that old time...Buffalo Tom returns to traditional rock `n' roll
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