There were very few albums that I was looking forward to coming into 2020 than Lord Buffalo’s upcoming opus. They impressed me three years ago with their dirty take on folk rock that was constantly changing with heaps of tasty psychedelia that is very rarely done justice. Just the single off this album made me run to my local record store and make the owner secure me a copy! And, finally, after spending at least 12 hours with “Tohu Wa Bohu” already, I can easily say this will be a standout record of the year for me by far!
My favorite way to describe Lord Buffalo’s sound came from a self-description when they made a point about the variety of venues that they play: they can just as easily be the loudest band on a quiet bill or the quietest band on a loud bill. And just listening to any given track from “Tohu Wa Bohu” you can definitely tell that without having to even think about it, and Lord Buffalo make it work like absolute magic from one track to the next bringing forth their ghost-town aura that works with the style far too well for these guys to be as unknown as they are. The whole of this album is like driving down a country road at night watching the tall grass roll back into the darkness as you drive along with the burdens and joys of your heart ebbing and flowing with each pulse and every song that “Tohu Wa Bohu” brings forth.
There’s so much personality and flavor in every ounce of this album that even after spending so long with it, it’s hard to describe for it really is the sort of stuff that you need to hear to know exactly what’s being thrown onto the table, but I do my best nonetheless. Lord Buffalo truly goes all over the place with their sound as they can easily go from something akin to somber like “Dog Head” to interestingly catchy like “Halle Berry” while almost always having that perfect concept of the slow build. “Tohu Wa Bohu” excels at the difficult art of starting immeasurably meek and small before slowly increasing in volume and presence such that by the end of a track we’re in a cacophony of melody and hypnotic vocals that are simply enrapturing to listen to which are perfectly captured by the likes of the title track and “Raziel”, just to name two. But, truthfully, the whole work is like that and that alone helps elevate the album to something so much more that isn’t done easily by any means whatsoever and Lord Buffalo wields it like true masters as each offering feels completely different than the last as all the songs on display are proud works that can easily stand on their own if given the opportunity. Lord Buffalo knows exactly how to touch the heart as well with plenty of the songs here touching the soul in such a way that catches you off guard, making you fall even deeper into the glorious depths of “Tohu Wa Bohu” that keep on going such that by the time it comes to an end you’re left wanting more and more of the eight tracks that you just experienced.
I’m very tempted to call 2020 the Year of the Buffalo between King Buffalo getting ready to dominate with their upcoming stunner of an EP at the end of the month and, now, Lord Buffalo who aren’t pulling any punches with a release following barely two weeks later! While they’re worlds apart in their own rights, it’s here with Lord Buffalo that we’ve gotten an album that very few people, if any, could properly prepare for. Everything about “Tohu Wa Bohu” is the epitome of an album that you really need to drown yourself in for you to experience it properly, and I can surely promise that you’ll come out of this piece of deliciously psychedelic Amiercana yearning the open road and more Lord Buffalo.
“Tohu Wa Bohu” releases on March 13th via Blues Funeral Recordings!
LISTEN to the title track on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Lord Buffalo on Facebook here.
FOLLOW Lord Buffalo on Twitter: @Lord_Buffalos