Friday, 6 July 2007

Album Review: Three Easy Pieces

It was always very unfair that Buffalo Tom were given the tag Dinosaur Jr. Jr. when they first began recording. But since their 1989 self-titled debut album arrived just after Dinosaur Jr. redefined indie rock with Bug, it seems somehow appropriate that Buffalo Tom have chosen to release their first album in nine years just months after Dinosaur Jr. returned from a ten-year hiatus.

Though they've gigged sporadically in the intervening years, Three Easy Pieces has frontman Bill Janovitz, bassist Chris Colbourn and drummer Tom Maginnis together on record for the first time since 1998's Smitten. Just seconds in to opener Bad Phone Call, it's easy to hear why they are so fondly remembered.

You'll Never Catch Him is the album's outstanding piece of melancholy, while Pendleton features Colbourn on vocals and, unusually for the band, no guitar; Janovitz instead plays piano and trumpet. The layered production makes it not dissimilar to anything from Let Me Come Over.

Bottom Of The Rain, Good Girl and September Shirt are perfect Buffalo Tom driving anthems, while the album closer, Thrown, has the same qualities that made Soda Jerk and Taillights Fade two of their most loved songs.

Not just a welcome addition to their catalogue, Three Easy Pieces is easily the equal of Let Me Come Over and Big Red Letter Day.

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