Where do I even start here? I’ve been sitting around just staring blankly at my computer screen trying to figure out the best way to start this shit off for far too long and I’m no closer to a good answer than I was yesterday when I first sat down to sink my teeth into this piece I was not expecting any form. But where do I begin? If you’re at all familiar with the underground scene of rock with even just a loose knowledge you’ve heard of King Buffalo, so no need for an introduction. Knowing that you know damn well they’re one of the scene’s best acts by miles. So, really, do I have to sit here and use fancy words to tell you that their forthcoming EP is everything you could ever expect from the style and so much more? I don’t think I do.
While King Buffalo is very much a name I’ve had grand respect for since their debut, “Orion”, I was one of the people that had heard them but wasn’t exactly moved by what I heard to a great degree. Don’t get me wrong, everything I’ve heard from King Buffalo is tremendous and they deserve every ounce of praise that they get and their fanbase is more than warranted. They’ve just never hit me on the right note such that I can’t rip myself away from them and they leave me absolutely floored. But, like all of their records since “Orion”, I went into the new material with optimism because who fucking knows? What I found was nothing short of so many things that I could only ever ask for out of a psychedelic album the likes of which that only a few examples are ever created. Only a truly great band is able to pull something like this off and make it seem like just another drop in the bucket but King Buffalo takes it to another level here. With a delicious sound that effortlessly ranges from and bounces between space rock, ambient drone, heaviness made into unforgettable mantras, and even a track made what sounds like pure synthesizers, “Dead Star” amazes and astounds like extremely few albums before it.
Perhaps it’s the experimental nature that I’ve been missing whenever I go into any King Buffalo material. If it is, then I can say with absolute certainty that it’s the key because I truly cannot get enough of “Dead Star” is any capacity across all six of its extremely diverse tracks. This year has already been an absolute treat for any fans of the style with new Lowrider, Big Scenic Nowhere, new Elder coming soon, and now King Buffalo has tossed their name into the mix for the bid of best piece of fucking awesomeness that 2020 can dish out, and what a potent release this band has decided to throw our way! There is nothing about “Dead Star” that is not worth listening to in any capacity. “Red Star” stands as an epic opener that sets the bar for everything else to follow, “Eta Carinae” is catchy and brings so much of the unique heaviness that King Buffalo is known for back to the table to grand effect, and the finale that is the title track perfectly seals this EP with soft vocals and a gorgeously haunting acoustic guitar. That’s not even spoiling the rest of what “Dead Star” has to offer, and I truly don’t want to rob you of the experience of hearing this EP for the first time with virgin ears for it’s an experience that should not be tampered with.
There are very little bands that can deliver as constantly as King Buffalo, and it should go without saying at this point that they have absolutely hit their mark with the likes of “Dead Star” showing us an amazingly experimental side to this band that I truly do wish we hear more of in the future. Of all the rock highlights that we’re to be getting this year, I should not have to tell you that King Buffalo is absolutely one that demands to be heard just to experience the top-tier quality that they always bring to the table. And if you didn’t know them before, you definitely won’t be forgetting them after this astounding EP.
“Dead Star” releases on March 20th!
LISTEN to an advanced single from “Dead Star”, “Eta Carinae”, on Bandcamp here.
LIKE King Buffalo on Facebook here.