Monday, 25 August 2014

SHIFTING BUFFALO - ALBUM REVIEW

Shifting Buffalo - Tempus Fugit Already 
Shifting Buffalo - Tempus Fugit Already

Release Date: 25th August 2014

Before we get on to the music there are two things you need to know. Firstly, be very, very careful if you Google this artist - shittingbuffalo.com is not a site anyone needs to see. Secondly, the proceeds from this album are being split between the Florence Nightingale Hospice and the British Lung Foundation so there is fine intention behind this music if nothing else. Now, on to the music. The album opens up with 'Step By Step' which has a harmless electro-acoustic jangle and poppy bass line before 'Sunshine' bursts in to life like a Huey Lewis & The News track being performed by the Lightning Seeds. 'Crossed Lines' is like a sequel to REM's 'Everybody Hurts' while 'Gorgeous But Clingy' is a 30 prelude to an argument with your girlfriend that would last for a week before you eventually back down.

Ben Fuller, for he is Shifting Buffalo, has a fairly thin voice that doesn't inspire or rouse the passions but he does have a fairly eclectic approach to music which I fully support. 'Wake!' is a mid paced rock ballad, ' The Metro Shuffle' is an acoustic singer-songwriter staple and 'If I Were A Massless Photon' is a home produced soft-rock ditty that Brian Cox probably played keyboards on (the annoying Science guy, not the actor). On 'Nothing To The Party' there is some fairly painful guitar soloing from the outset before the seven minute odyssey of 'Daddy's Girl' starts of like a Led Zep classic before settling in to a prog-punk riff with wibbling synths in the background for the first real moment of interest on the album. On 'Gone', Fuller returns to the balladeering while 'As Well As Can Be Expected' is 71 seconds of non-descript strumming that couldn't really hold my attention.

'Soap Box' is a tune penned by the sadly deceased Jon Walker but fits in well with the general feel of the album. On 'You Have Returned' Fuller uses a simple piano melody to great effect but the insipid vocals and bland melodies soon quash any spirit the song had. The album finishes up with 'Advice in 13/4' and all I can say is that I won't be listening to the album again. It's not bad or out of tune or offensive, it's more that Shifting Buffalo is on the bland side of indie-rock which, in a world with so many musicians, just seems like a waste of everyone's time. Noble intentions but not beautifully delivered.

More information: www.shiftingbuffalo.com

Live Dates:


13th September - Balstock Festival, Hertfordshire

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