Jeffery Drag Records / Self-Released – March 6th, 2015
Having really enjoyed Buffalo Rodeo’s last release, Home Videos, it was exciting to see that they were planning to release a new EP this week. Where the strength of their last album resided in their hard-driving tempos and hefty choruses, 123 Water finds its success in breezy psych-pop melodies and harmonies. The album starts off with whispers and falsetto vocals, and wastes no time getting into the catchy chorus – “Lana (Del Rey)” is a totally appropriate way of starting off the album and setting the tone of the spacey EP. “Butterfly Knife” is a small bit more like their previous material, in the way the chorus is propelled, but then opens up to a dreamier, laid-back feel. “Blue Sky” is everything that a single should be for a release like this – the verse rolls effortlessly into the refrain, which is then carried out with some really smart harmonies and progressions. The fourth track, “Always Want it Back,” is perhaps the most spacey track on the album, and does a nice job setting up the track that follows it. “All Ears” calls back to Home Videos, splitting male and female vocals, lilting and rolling before an extended chromatic descent carries the song to its end. “Love in a Garden” carries over a little of this chromaticism for its bridge, and ties everything together nicely with one of the catchier choruses of the album. Though they’ve made a departure from the sound of their last EP, they have certainly maintained their knack for good hooks and catchy melodies. And while the psych-pop of 123 Water might be a new sound to my ears, Buffalo Rodeo sounds entirely comfortable here – they navigate these songs craftily and with ease.
Tracks I Liked? Lana (Del Rey)!, Butterfly Knife!!, Blue Sky!!!, All Ears!, Love in a Garden!!
Ben Southworth – March 6th, 2015 – Park Avenue