Location: milkpress (music) towers, Gay Street, Bath
Event: Bite the Buffalo release debut E.P. ‘Bromigos’ with Daddy longlegs Promotions
Points of pedantry: 1. …..I’ll get back to you, k?
Bite the Buffalo – Bromigos
Imagine ye a narrative: a bright yellow Beetle circa the swinging sixties, complete with requisite scrapes, bumps and floral fender decorations. Said Beetle is coming at you, on a wave the size of South Africa. The 8 track stereo is blasting out ‘Are You Experienced’, and two hirsute faces are beaming out of the busted windows; all killer smiles, star gazing eyes, and a knowing rogue deportment…you just know there’s whisky and a revolver under those well-worn seats. That’s pretty much ‘Bromigos’ in a nutshell.
Deeper aural ingestion reveals ‘Polka Dots’. This careers around the corners of the ear canals, screeching uncontrollably until its Va Va Vroom vocal melodies, head bopping pop harmonies, full throttle guitar adrenaline and twisted, shouting song arrangement eventually rolls the whole vehicle (over and over and upside down), until it finally settles; coughing and spluttering, all ripped upholstery and scratched paintwork in the centre of a slightly dry and dusty, but colourful rock n roll flashback.
Any lyricist who can partner “Should know better” with “too much Stella” deserves some credit in the great book of milkpress (music). The E.P.’s wicket doors are literally blown off by the opening guitar attack; no knocking required. The track nods and winks to those sitting round the Big Riff Saloon, all the time demanding both attention and a drink. While a little heartbroken and apologetic in its conversation, the track’s velocity and power carry the lyrical tale onto the apparently happy accidents of last night’s escapades. Given the brevity of the preceding tunes, ‘Should Know Better’ could be shorter than it is, but Bite the Buffalo opt to enjoy themselves on the way out of the bar – dancing their way to the door with a deep, fuzzy, alcohol soaked congratulatory groove, while trying not to trip over the bar stools.
‘Riding the Sun’ and ‘Southern Pink Flamingo’ are grittier, bluesier, stone age rock-roller-coaster affairs; grinding in at just over and just under 2 minutes respectively. Vibrant ‘oohs’, ‘aahs’ and ‘scream if you want to go faster’ production values adorn and embellish these musical rides. The Buff present their theme park well, weaving straight forward guitar riffs and loop the loop vocals into both of these sensory carriages. ‘Riding the Sun’ and ‘Southern Pink Flamingo’ are thoroughly enjoyable, but I can’t help feeling, by comparison to the rest of the E.P., a little variation in the instrumentation might have injected a fresher coat of paint and a little more elemental urgency to the journey.
The Bromigos give the brake pedal (a little) squeeze, on the more thoughtful ‘Hello (Peace Of Mind)’, opting to close the E.P. with an acoustic led number. The vocal tracks are lush, the melody patterns pleasing; the sound and feel is one that evokes a sense of reconciliation and a much needed deep breath. It’s a really good finish and a definite end to a frankly mental experience; the dark space between head hitting the pillow and sleep’s final descent.
All in all, you’ve got to love Bite the Buffalo’s ability to distil sun soaked good times into 2 minute manic pop songs and still deliver a happy ending. The melodies are stellar, the lyrics bring a whole meadow of colour to the songs and the delivery is sparkling, tight and a real pleasure to listen to. A genuine vocal, dry and dreaming harmonies, the Godzilla-size guitar riffs and intelligent production of the record leave very little room for complaint. Personally I’ve never been convinced by the guitar/drums set up, but Bite the Buffalo know their aural ergonomics; if there was an award for drum arrangements, it should go to these guys.
It’s a great start by Bite the Buffalo, and everyone’s going to want this bright yellow Beetle to pull up at their party. It’ll be very interesting to see where the Bromigos go from here. ‘Bromigos’ is release on the 30th Jan 2012.
milkpress (music) verdict – 2.5 pints
Thanks to Iain from Milkpress for this review, which was edited by Layla Redman.