14 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Buffalo Tom has always been an unassuming band with great talents. Singer Bill Janovitz, with his solo work and with Buffalo Tom, has proven to be one of the music’s best kept secrets. What the group’s cult has always enjoyed is accessible to everyone. “She’s Not Your Thing” is classic rock by sound and alternative rock by name, since the band emerged between 1989-1998 when that was what music with distorted guitars and ‘60s-pop like melodies got called. There’s no reason for fans of Elvis Costello, Squeeze and R.E.M not be to completely charmed by the unpretentious tunes found here in abundance. “Down” sounds like a great interior monologue. “Don’t Forget Me” and “Paper Knife” are the kind of Paul Westerberg ballads that always won over serious hearts. “Miss Barren Brooks” adds an electric piano tune to the mix. “Guilty Girls,” “Here I Come” and “Lost Weekend” are Midwestern rockers, while “Out of the Dark” is an organ-driven piece of dramatic songplay that’s as close to the arena as these clubland boys are likely to get, through no fault of their own.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Buffalo Tom has always been an unassuming band with great talents. Singer Bill Janovitz, with his solo work and with Buffalo Tom, has proven to be one of the music’s best kept secrets. What the group’s cult has always enjoyed is accessible to everyone. “She’s Not Your Thing” is classic rock by sound and alternative rock by name, since the band emerged between 1989-1998 when that was what music with distorted guitars and ‘60s-pop like melodies got called. There’s no reason for fans of Elvis Costello, Squeeze and R.E.M not be to completely charmed by the unpretentious tunes found here in abundance. “Down” sounds like a great interior monologue. “Don’t Forget Me” and “Paper Knife” are the kind of Paul Westerberg ballads that always won over serious hearts. “Miss Barren Brooks” adds an electric piano tune to the mix. “Guilty Girls,” “Here I Come” and “Lost Weekend” are Midwestern rockers, while “Out of the Dark” is an organ-driven piece of dramatic songplay that’s as close to the arena as these clubland boys are likely to get, through no fault of their own.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
38 Ratings
38 Ratings
scrooge ,

Consistent greatness

I was a huge fan in the 90s and was sorry to hear they had stopped recording. I used to tell people I liked "alternative music," and when they asked me what I meant by that, I thought of Buffalo Tom and said, "music that is better than everything that is popular." Unlike the Goo Goo Dolls and Soul Asylum, Buffalo Tom never made it big. I always blamed that lack of commercial success on occasionally indifferent drumming and sloppy guitar solos, but it is hard to say why they never caught on, even once grunge became dominant. Some of their better riffs have made it into commercials and sporting events productions, and I hope they were never starving.
It was great to hear they'd returned in 2007 and I loved that album. I haven't listened to this one enough to know every note, but it is not a let down and shows a different sort of artistry. It is a little quieter than what preceded it, but it is still very literate, poetic, and takes good advantage of the differences in their singing. If you are looking for a group that is consistently much better than any of the new "alternative" bands like Arcade Fire and Snow Patrol, etc., this is the one. Big Red Letter Day and Smitten are their high water mark energy-wise, but everything since Birdbrain is great guitar based rock and roll.

Skint94 ,

Integrity Never Gets Old

Strong album from a superb rock band. Storytelling without nostalgia, emotion without sentiment. Saw them in June 2015 in Cambridge MA and they were as vital and honest as ever. Integrity never gets old.

btxm ,

Always Great!

Another great Buffalo Tom album.

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