Sunday, July 09, 2017


And what about Buffalo Tom, dammit?  Better than 99% of the groups that got more sales and/or acclaim in those heady alternative days of the early/mid 90s, but I think their Everyman image worked against them.  I mean, who remembers what the hell Robert Smith looked like before he started in with the hair and the make-up?

The self-titled SST debut had many awesome, solid tunes and that pre-requisite grungey production, which might have actually worked against the songs somewhat.  They deserved something a little cleaner.  Or maybe promotion was the issue?  I hear nothing but bad things about SST’s accounting from back in the day.  Maybe if they had fought to keep their great bands (pay them the royalties they earned, maybe?  Just tossing that out there) back in the day, they wouldn’t have tanked so quickly and absolutely.


BIRDBRAIN felt like sort of a holding pattern to me.  Some excellent tunes, production was a little leaner, but on the whole it felt like an awkward attempt to bridge the gap between the early sound and what came later.

LET ME COME OVER, of course, was the game changer.  The songs are varied, solid, powerful and totally awesome.  This is the cd I would advise you to steal as your BT introduction, but the damn thing’s back in print as a 25th anniversary re-issue so the band will probably get some $$$ from sales.  Steal the next 2 instead.  They’re out of print, so who gets hurt?

BIG RED LETTER DAY disappointed me at first.  It was kind of polished in comparison to the earlier stuff, and I’d heard rougher and rockin’er versions of a lot of the songs when I saw the band in concert before it came out.  I finally got my head out of my ass, tho, and managed to see it for the excellent album it is.  “Soda Jerk” was in a TV commercial, I think, and they had the legendary MY SO-CALLED LIFE episode, so this was probably their commercial peak.

SLEEPY-EYED was a little rawer, the songs were still uniformly strong, so I loved it immediately.

SMITTEN started off strong and had a few highlights scattered throughout, but the band sounded a little resigned on this one, I thought.  A lot of the songs played it safe and sounded like a middle-aged Buffalo Tom.  Not bad, but their classic period was definitely over.

THREE EASY PIECES and SKINS both seemed to follow in the same mold as SMITTEN.  Some highlights and a bunch of Tom-By-Numbers.  I haven’t listened to either in a while, so maybe it’s time the next time I’m painting or typing up poems.

Their b-sides collection (BESIDES, get it? ha ha ha ha aha ha !!!!!) is pretty fine.  Better than a lot of odds & sods compilations I could mention, but won’t because I was raised better than that.  I’m pretty sure they played “Witches” off of this one when I saw them in concert.   $8 in 1992, but all I had was a 10, and the guy at the door had no ones (???? the fuck is up with that?), so me and my friend got in for $5 each.    So maybe it’s my fault they never became millionaires…..

Pond was the opening act, they pretty much played their debut album, which was their finest hour, so it all worked out good.  I think I still have my Pond t-shirt somewhere.

I hear Buffalo Tom is in the studio working on a new release, so we’ll see…..

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