Young Buffalo’s Self-Titled Buffaloes

Young Buffalo is a delightful blend of dad-rock riffs and best-the-indie-world-has-to-offer vocals. The Oxford, MS based band does well to balance their visceral guitar squeals and chords with smart vocal melodies and drums that are powerful without being overpowering. Their self-titled 2012 EP is about 20 minutes of mastery hammered into five almost too brief tracks.

Young Buffalos begins with “Baby Demons,” which sounds like The Beatles, circa the Revolver-era, had a love-child with The Black Keys who then had a child with Fleet Foxes. Confused about how it sounds? So am I. In any case, the song is a catchy blend of distorted guitars that jump between heavy chords and nimble solos and vocals that use effects to complement their infectious melodies. Part-psychedelia, part-rock, part-indie anthem, “Baby Demon” skillfully draws you into the EP.

Young Buffalo stays fixated on this sound throughout their EP–bending and altering it slightly but never completely abandoning it. The aesthetic fits well with their song writing structures. Their songs unfold generic stories that hold kernels of passion and truth. Staying with shorter pop structures filled with rock elements gives Young Buffalo a sense of compression that allows them to short-cut specific details for more impressionistic stylings.

The third track of the EP, “Upstairs,” does this well. Mixing a more aggressive-but-similar-to early Fleet Foxes with an energetic and complex vocal melody, the band does well to touch upon all of their strengths within the song’s three and a half minutes. Perhaps my favorite of the EP, “Upstairs” glimpses bits of grief throughout its lyrics and weaves them seamlessly into the song’s wonderful instrumentation.

Young Buffalo is an EP that has some of the best song writing and lyrics that I’ve come across in a minute. Definitely a band to keep an eye on, Young Buffalo radiates potential and talent. The duo turned quintet has only improved since their 2012 self-titled as evidenced by their latest single, “Sykia.” The band created a wonderful debut and only has more to show the world. I am surprised that they have stayed underground for two years–a situation that won’t be true for very much longer.

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