Review – Scratch Buffalo

Album: Scratch Buffalo
Release Date: May 18, 2018
Genre: Garage Rock

Calgary, Alberta based rock trio, Scratch Buffalo, have released their debut full-length album. The band walks a thin line between 2000’s garage rock and mid 70’s punk on the self-titled release, creating a fun and entertaining listening experience.

Scratch Buffalo comes to an explosive start with “Piranha”, a brief jam that immediately introduces the carefree and fun nature of the band in a manner that is reminiscent of the garage punk stylings of The Beastie Boys. Much like the songs to follow, “Alligator” and “Kill The Sky”, it is quirky and bursting with an infectious energy. While Chris Nash’s vocals may be an acquired taste as they sometimes sport a cartoonish quality, it is this where Scratch Buffalo get their character from; drastically separating them from their garage rock peers.

It is in the middle of the album where the songs begin to change slightly and subtly in tone to reflect a strong sense of songwriting. The structure of “Girls In The Back Row” feels like it was pulled out of The Rolling Stones’ songbook with more mature vocals and soulful blues lead lines on the guitar filling in the spaces between the chords, while “Nightmare Coming” features an incredibly tight and groovy instrumental break towards the end of the track. Such deviations from any expectations can further be heard on the rhythmic “Salamander Shake” and the ambitious “Hyena Snow”.

Scratch Buffalo have delivered a strong debut with their self-titled album. Through the course of its eleven songs, listeners will hear a wide range of influences, from 50’s roots rock to new wave punk and beyond. Scratch Buffalo is a wildly entertaining record that will leave fans exciting for what else Scratch Buffalo have in store.

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