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Big Red Letter Day

Buffalo Tom

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Album Review

Buffalo Tom proved that their palate was a lot broader and their reach a lot farther than anyone might have expected on Let Me Come Over, and while the following year's Big Red Letter Day didn't show the same sort of growth, it also proved the band hadn't forgotten any of their tricks along the way. Big Red Letter Day sounds a bit poppier than it's immediate predecessor, though that seems largely a function of the production by the Robb Brothers, which features a bit more body and a significant amount more gloss than the leaner, cleaner tone of Let Me Come Over, and to these ears the strong, infectious melodies of the songs (and the tight ensemble playing by the group) hold up well to such treatment. And while the palpable angst of Let Me Come Over was obviously sincere but a wee bit samey by the end of that album, Big Red Letter Day cuts back on the rueful self-examination just a bit, and the hopefulness of "Dry Land" and "Anything That Way" was a welcome touch from a band that often had a hard time embracing their happiness. Unlike their last two albums, Big Red Letter Day didn't display much in the way of unexpected new sides to Buffalo Tom — it just found them doing what they do very well indeed, and anyone who loves the band will enjoy this record.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When they released their first album in 1989, the Boston-based trio Buffalo Tom were written off as Dinosaur Jr. junior. Admittedly, their debut was in debt to J Mascis' thundering guitar and folk-tinged songs and it didn't help that Mascis produced the record, either. Over time, Buffalo Tom stripped away their grungier influences and developed into a straight-ahead rock group of the early '90s, capable of throttling rockers and beautiful ballads. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Bill Janovitz, bassist/vocalist...
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Big Red Letter Day, Buffalo Tom
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