Buffalo Tom – Quiet and Peace (Album Review)

buffalo slide 1 - Buffalo Tom - Quiet and Peace (Album Review)

Buffalo Tom – Quiet and Peace (Album Review)

BuffaloTom pic1 lg - Buffalo Tom - Quiet and Peace (Album Review)Twenty-five years ago, they released their breakthrough album, spawning what became their most popular, chart-topping songs, “Sodajerk” and “I’m Allowed.” They followed this up with four albums more, from 1995’s Sleepy Eyed to 2011’s Skin; and then they went on a hiatus.

Now, the band that was formed in 1986, in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, by Bill Janovitz (vocals, guitar), Chris Colbourn (bass), and Tom Maginnis (drums) is back again, with a new album in tow! This should be exciting, especially for the trio’s longtime fans and enthusiasts of the entire ’90s Alternative Rock, for the forthcoming, ninth full-length of their band known as Buffalo Tom is what may be described as a return to the Heartland sound of their youthful sonic exuberance.

Slated for release on Friday, March 2, 2018 thanks to Scrawny/Schoolkids Records, Quiet and Peace – Buffalo Tom’s new offering – opens with the upbeat, torch-bright “All Be Gone,” emanating the energy of Big Red Letter Day’s “Dry Land.” The ensuing hymnal “Overtime” then takes the listener to a quiet trek to the countryside, only to drive him again on a breezy, nostalgic ride with “Roman Cars,” into the much-missed ’90s sound of Buffalo Tom. Another wistful but sunny, strum-oriented track plays next in the form of the piano-adorned “Freckles,” which is steeped with oh-so-sweet melodies. “CatVMouse” then follows aptly, as it smoothly flows with its bluesy chops and folky tendencies.

“Lonely Fast and Deep” returns Quiet and Peace to the big red jubilant heyday of the ’90s – vibrant, frenetic, and engaging; with a standout guitar ad-lib that will remind the initiated of the mind-glowing riffs of J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. (“I Don’t Think So”). The mood then turns reflective and romantic with a pair of poetically worded Alternative Rock ballads, “See High the Hemlock Grows” and “In the Ice.” These songs will fit seamlessly onto a playlist that include Soul Asylum’s “Black Gold,” Gin Blossoms’ “Pieces of the Night,” and Counting Crows’ “Round Here.”

Nearing the end of the peaceful yet exciting journey comes “Least That We Can Do,” galloping with its rolling drum beats, guitar drone, spacey melodies, and Janovitz’s familiar and homely drawls. The penultimate track, “Slow Down,” true to its title, is a generally mid-tempo track which explodes into smithereens of Grunge-inspired guitars, but subdued enough to complement the underlying bed of Hammond organ, angular rhythm section, and sufficient melodiousness; the initiated might recall faint echoes of Love Spit Love’s “Fall on Tears,” R.E.M.’s “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite,” and The Lemonheads’ “The Outdoor Type.”

Finally, Buffalo Tom wrap up Quiet and Peace solemnly with their heartwarming Alternative Country rendition of the 1970 Folk classic “The Only Living Boy in New York” by Simon & Garfunkel.

Albeit thirty-years away from its very first predecessor and seven years from the last one, Buffalo Tom’s new batch of usually melodic and emotionally inspired Alternative Rock ballads and stompers is as refreshing and engaging as the American band’s memorable songs from the previous decades. Nevertheless, the equally compelling lyrical themes of Quiet and Peace prove also that Janovitz, Colbourn, and Maginnis with their music have been able to remain rustic but relevant at the same time amidst the ever-changing landscapes and dynamics of Alternative Rock music. CrypticRock gives Quiet and Peace 4 out of 5 stars.
BuffaloTom cover - Buffalo Tom - Quiet and Peace (Album Review)

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aLfie vera mella
aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. As a means to further his passion for music, he formed the band haLf man haLf eLf. He now performs with another band, The Psychedelics. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He began writing album reviews for CrypticRock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf? His next planned literary endeavor is to publish the remaining parts of the anthology and his works on Poetry, Fantasy Fiction, and Mythology. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. He participates at various community events; and he explores the diverse cultural beauty of Canada whenever his schedule permits it. aLfie is a doting and dedicated father to his now ten-year-old son, Evawwen.

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