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Buffalo Tom

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Album Review

All these years later, it's hard to blame anyone for calling Buffalo Tom "Dinosaur Jr." after their self-titled debut album was released; even if J Mascis hadn't produced the sessions (and played lead guitar on one track), the band's approach at this point — big sludgy neo-grunge guitar mauling, with a busy rhythm section bashing away behind it all trying to keep up — was similar enough to what Mascis and company were serving up at the time that comparison was inevitable. But from the jump, it was obvious that Bill Janovitz was a stronger and more emphatic vocalist than Mascis ever was, and if he still had a lot to learn as a songwriter, "Sunflower Suit" and "Impossible" offered evidence that Janovitz had a knack for crafting hooky melodies that were clearly visible under the sheets of noisy guitar (which he could mangle nearly as well as Mascis himself). Some bands offer up everything they have on their first album, and some bands just get started; Buffalo Tom indicates that this band was clearly in the latter category, but if they had a way to go in the originality sweepstakes, there was no arguing they had plenty of talent and potential.


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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Buffalo Tom, Buffalo Tom
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