Originally many saw them as Dinosaur Jr wannabees and indeed J Mascis featured on some early recordings. But Buffalo Tom soon moved beyond their early main influence.
Their sound is rooted in the early 1990's - think Lemonheads, Replacements, Husker Du and "College Rock" - distorted guitars and nice melodies. They also have that "Boston sound" going on too. In 'Let Me Come Over' they produced one of my all time favourite albums. Later albums have moved away from the feedback and towards a more classic American Rock/Americana sound with a raw indie feel.
and Lost Songs:
As well as releasing the "A Sides" album (a perfect introduction, which includes the rare 'Going Underground'), Buffalo Tom released "Besides" which is a pretty good B sides compilation (including a 2 unreleased songs and 2 hard to find compilation tracks) - but it misses a few tracks that I would LOVE Buffalo Tom fans to hear
The 'Fortune Teller' EP features "Stymied" as an ACOUSTIC version (though it is not listed as such) and was recorded and released before the album version a year later. This is a great version of a great song.
'Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here', 'V For Verlaine' and 'Farm Of Do As You Please' would all fit nicely on a Terrible Twos record (Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids' side project for big & little kids)
Finally the acoustic version of 'Anything That Way' (Tree House B side) is worth checking out.
There is an unreleased song called 'Blake' that is absolutely BRILLIANT - it was once available for free download on the Buffalo Tom website. It's not there now - nor are the other rarities that you could once download. What is happening to that website?!
Cold Water Flat
is a band featuring
Paul is the lead singer and guitar player in a 3 piece from Boston playing distorted guitar with melodic vocals......Does this sound familiar?!
Way back when Cold Water Flat were touring Britain supporting fellow Boston band Belly, I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul. He could not see the similarities between his band and Buffalo Tom (!).
But everyone else could.
The 2nd Cold Water Flat album (confusingly called Cold Water Flat) is similar in sound to early Buffalo Tom albums and is equal to Buffalo Tom's better albums. I would highly recommend it.
One Of My Favourite EPS EVER!
Back when an EP/single was 4 tracks and featured 3 unreleased B sides:
Velvet Roof (What a catchy song)
Crutch (CD only album bonus track - one of my all time favourite songs)
Sally Brown (a really fun Chris Colbourn song)
She Means Everything To Me (A great Bob Dylan cover - it builds up to a firey finale)
Beyond Buffalo Tom:
There have been a few solo/collaboration releases outside Buffalo Tom.
Here are a few of my favourites that I would recommend if you've never come across them:
Bill Janovitz - Lonesome Billy (1996) - more acoustic/folky than BT
'Girls Club' and 'Shoulder' are my standout tracks.
Bill Janovitz - Up Here (2001) is Bill's 2nd solo album and is also a more acoustic affair than BT.
I particularly love 'The Atlantic', 'Up Here' and 'Like Shadows'.
A real rarity is Bill Janovitz - Searching For Certainty (2003) (Songs from and inspired by the production - for a play by Mike O'Malley). Solo acoustic recordings plus lots of instrumentals and very very rare.
Bill Janovitz & Crown Victoria - Fireworks On TV! (2004) is recorded with a full band and is much more in the vein of the distorted guitar with melody mid-era Buffalo Tom (Red Letter/Sleepy Eyed) sound.
'One,Two,Three', 'My Radio' and 'Revealed' are my fav's.
Bill is currently writing a new album 'Long Island Of The Mind' (2012) and the demos are available to download off his website: www.billjanovitz.com . But the album is relying on contributions - so if you want to see it released proper, make a decent donation. I have. I paid him the price of an import CD. Sounds good so far by the way...
Chris Colbourn usually contributes a couple of songs to a Buffalo Tom album and writes many B sides too. He has released a "solo" album co-written/performed with Hilken Mancini - Hilken Mancini and Chris Colbourn (2005) it also features J Mascis and members of Buffalo Tom. This has a real "Boston Sound" to some tracks!
Lost Songs of Lennon & McCartney (2003) is a compilation of Beatles songs that the Beatles never recorded but gave away to other singers/bands. This Cd features Bill Janovitz singing SIX of them.
The Best Buffalo Tom Discography out there is this one: