Buffalo Killers: Fireball of Sulk
Cincinnati's favorite bearded, bohemian brethren, Buffalo Killers are back and are producing cool rocking music at a speed that would made Bob Pollard blush.
Heavy Reverie marked a huge turning point for the band in many ways: not only was it their first time working with Sun Pedal, but the band chose this moment to expand their sound by adding slide-style maestro Sven Kahns on both guitar and lap-steel. The success of Heavy Reverie was capped-off with a west-coast tour, a spot in the Freaks For The Festival and finally a June 4th television appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly.
Where Fireball of Sulk picks up on the continuum established by Heavy Reverie is in a loose yet still cohesive collection of sounds that are heavy - but not so heavy that they disconnect from their relaxed and esoteric roots. The bookend-like feeling on Fireball is best evidenced by the inclusion of "Don't Cry to Me" - which was originally offered as a "bonus track" for those eager enough the pre-order Heavy Reverie. If it is possible that anyone in the area is still yet unfamiliar with Buffalo Killers, I would describe them as the next evolution of Crazy Horse - a group with a truly collaborative, band-of-brothers approach to songwriting.
"Blankets on the Sun" opens Fireball of Sulk with a slip-n-slide melody, dancing amidst a much heavier foundation that casually and effortlessly glides between 3/4 and 4/4 time. This then transitions to the song "Weird One" a song with a Ringo Starr-like rhythm and oddly contrasted vocal harmonies.
Baring their teeth and their darker side, Buffalo Killers bring out "Marshmallow Mouth" a track with a pronounced Alice-in-Chains atmosphere surrounding it. Though this song is most unlike the others, there is still enough of the elemental BK vibe to the bridge to make it recognizable in a Jeckyll & Hyde kind of way.
In "Something Else" as well as "In a Number" there is a sense of Buffalo Killers reaching back in time to a sound more like what you might find in their albums 3 or Dig. Sow. Love. Grow.. This powerful and tangible sense of continuity is what has sustained Buffalo Killers and allowed them to get bigger and better each time around.
Most pervasive within Fireball of Sulk is a sense of comfort in the way the band approaches each track. I can't help but feel, the more I listen to it, that this is the point at which Buffalo Killers have accepted themselves as who they are. They have been working for years to achieve a modicum of success and now they have been able to relax, and to make the album that they have been wanting to make - for themselves - all this time.