CD box set £16.45 BBQCD2105
5 album CD boxset on Beggars Banquet.
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9/10 Penrith Steve 15th October 2014
This collection gathers together Buffalo Tom’s 5 albums recorded in the 90s, spanning 1990-1998. Birdbrain, their second album was produced by J Mascis and, because of this presumably, has a dirtier sound than anything that came after it. The title track, “Crawl” and “Skeleton Key” are the highlights. Their best album is “Let Me Come Over” from ’92 which boasts such Buffalo Tom classics as “Tailights Fade” and “Velvet Roof”. There isn’t a bad track on here and other highlights include “Mountains Of Your Head” and “Frozen Lake”. 1993’s “Big Red Letter Day” is another consistent set of songs from the Boston three-piece and starts strongly with “Sodajerk”, “I’m Allowed”, “Treehouse” and “Would Not Be Denied”. “Sleepy Eyed” was released in 1995, a great album and the opening three tracks “Tangerine”, ”Summer” and “Kitchen Door” are as good as anything they ever recorded. By name-checking Mick (Jagger) and Keith (Richards) in “Summer” Bill Janovitz gives you his only clue as to his obsession with the Rolling Stones. “Smitten” from 1998 is the weakest of the set but “Rachel” and “Wiser” are good songs worthy of Buffalo Tom. There were a lot of good bands around the Boston, MA area in the late 80s-early 90s – Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jr, Pixies, Breeders, Belly to name a few and I feel Buffalo Tom didn’t quite get the attention they deserved amongst an admittedly strong line-up. I’d say that this is a pretty essential package.
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