click here for more
Album Review
Avi Buffalo

Avi Buffalo
by Avi Buffalo

Sub Pop

Review Date
Reviewed by
Gareth Meade

Avi Buffalo are a four-piece band based out of Long Beach, California. While that may sound like very generic information, there is definitely something about their sound that evokes the idea of a place called “Long Beach”. Listeners of their debut self-titled album are invited to lay back and feel the music envelop them, much like the onomatopoeic crashing of waves the four members of Avi Buffalo might enjoy on a daily basis.

This is an affecting album, albeit in a very slight manner, but it certainly doesn’t encroach on any barriers or even dare to be overdramatic. It borders on folk-pop, hinting at more psychedelic tendencies here and there as evidenced on the opener ‘Truth Sets In’. The liner notes make for interesting exploration of the band’s sound, especially once you find out that founder and lead singer Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg (Avi for short) used to be in a band that made “very loud jam-rock whose biggest highlights were schreeching wah solos and saxophone surprise guests”. Avi then goes on to say “after a while I sort of just wanted to hide out in my office and whisper into a microphone”. It’s difficult to think of a better way to summarise Avi Buffalo than as somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

They also have the ability to be interminably catchy, such as on ‘What’s In It For?’, which introduces their tendency to sound like The Shins. Other fleeting reference points are Wilco (check out the Nels Cline-esque guitar freakout on ‘Remember Last Time’) and Woods (especially Avi’s vocals), but for a band barely out of high school, they do especially well to carve their own niche.

Obviously though, when there is so much new music to discover it will always be difficult for some bands to make their mark on the world. But Avi Buffalo does manage it, simply by living with you after its final note.

see more