"An Interview with Buffalocomotive"
-Sara Klimek, Rawkzilla.com
Sara: You guys have been around for a while, how has the band grown throughout the years? How would you compare the band from the early years to the more recent days?
Brahm: Even though we haven’t thrown a lot of music out there for public consumption until recently, Marc and I have been playing together for what’s getting close to three decades. I know I know, how can that be you ask, you guys look so fly. Well we use a lot of lotions, but also we started very young. I remember my parents dropping me off at Marc’s house (I wasn’t 16 yet) and I’d lug my guitar into his basement and we’d sit on his floor looking through stacks of record albums (large circular discs made of vinyl) and doing multi-track recordings on a Tascam Mini-Studio Porta One. It was this big clunky shit brown box that recorded on a cassette tape (a reel of magnetic tape in a little plastic case). I can still hear the KA-CHUNK the buttons made when you pushed them down. Fast forward thirty years and we’re still basically doing the same thing, but our toys are better.
I think our biggest evolution was getting the cover-band experience out of our blood so early. We used to play a giant set list every weekend at any bar that we could convince to take us and our high-risk liability under-age asses. Total parroting burnout lead directly to us starting to write our own stuff. I think I personally turned the corner on my songwriting about 10 years ago. I had been writing in a vacuum for so long from stream of consciousness that I never managed to take a step back and look at the song as a whole. Once I did I felt myself more consistently incorporating the better elements and phasing out the more frivolous and outlandish crap and really paying attention to the arrangement instead of just a one riff or really deep lyrics or whatever. Things started to click and somehow our signature sound still managed to shine through, at least in our minds.
Marc: In earlier days I think we felt we had something to prove by being more aggressive, proggy and technical. Later we realized that the music that moved us most was not consistent with this approach. The unconventional stuff is still there but now is contrasted with the simple, light is contrasted with dark, soft with loud, absurd with profound etc. for max impact.
Sara: Tell me about the big announcements? 1-Rock Opera Album Project 2-The participation with the new upcoming western indie film?
Brahm: While we were well into recording “Tears Of The Enchanted Mainframe” I was starting to flesh out a new concept on paper. I had this overarching core idea in my mind about vampirism being a galactic phenomenon, not just an Earthly eastern European one (or a northwestern United States one – yikes). I envisioned a clandestine organization of vampire hunters, made up of different alien races, roaming the universe to squash the scourge. Once I worked out the big picture details I focused on one segment of this story. One of these hunters, an 8’ steampunk robot that cries .45 caliber bullets, senses a powerful arch-vampire on a big blue marble in the Milky Way galaxy and crash lands in the southwestern United States sometime in the 1700’s. The indigenous people encase the comatose visitor in a totem pole. 100 years later he awakens and partners with a young albino Paiute and they proceed to exterminate vampires, that have traded coffins for mineshafts, while tracking down Carmilla (Uh oh the threat was actually an Arch-Vampiress!). There’s a bunch of interesting characters along the way like an army of Aztec mummies rising from the sand, twin sister mute witches, a white werewolf and even an emissary from the Holy See. Once I had a rough treatment written up for this sprawling epic (ha!) I sat down and started to write a single song for each major scene. I wanted to make sure the songs were both self-contained to where they made sense and held their own if listened to separately, and also very linear, to where if listened back to back they told a very clear story just like watching a movie in your ears. A few years of writing and banging out demo’s and we’re finally ready to start easing into laying some tracks. It will be a full-fledged 21 song rock-opera entitled “Gunmetal Gray and the Casket Kidd”.
Brahm: I’m partnered in an independent film that is being produced in Las Vegas. It’s a passion project being fueled by a small think tank of very talented people that I’m excited to be a part of. We’re going to be doing all of the sound. This is everything from gunshots to crickets in the night to the dialog and of course the music itself. Marc will be pulling the heavy load on this project from a soundscape mixing and engineering perspective, I’m actually more involved with the cinematography aspects on this one, and we’ll collaborate on the scoring. I’m trying to contain my enthusiasm about this but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and it’s coming to fruition. It’s a western with a lot of larger than life characters and some pretty surreal elements that really make it far more spaghetti than Americana. So it’s very Sergio Leone and anti-John Ford if that resonates with any cinephiles out there. We’re even recording all the actors’ lines in post (A technique known as ADR) so that the words are slightly off with the lips just like in A Fistful of Dollars et al. The film is called “Shoot In Any Direction and You’ll Hit a Bastard”.
Sara: What are some of the struggles your band has come across? Personal struggles?
Brahm: Miraculously (in the rock n’ roll universe anyway) Marc and I have been consistently collaborating all this time without interruption. We’ve both weathered marriages, kids, careers and even a 2000 mile separation and we still manage to work together smashingly. I don’t want to cite Lennon/McCartney or Jagger/Richards but well actually I do so leave that part in. I think the internet is what enabled us. The ability for us to upload files and bring them into our workspace to contribute and then upload them back is a big part of our process. It enables us to be songcrafting any place any time and maintain some semblance of our individual real lives.
Marc: There have been plenty of stressful and tragic events over the years, but the main struggles as an artist or musician are the internal ones you live with 24/7. When the music isn’t working you can get angry and depressed. I’ve been known to throw things and break doors. Then when it works you feel euphoric. Then again you may go back and listen to your supposed triumph and instead find it to be a failure and it starts all over. But it’s those little euphoric moments that keep you going.
Sara: What do you want your fans to get from your music? Either a message or a feeling.
Brahm: I turn on the radio and then I quickly turn it off. If I do dare to turn it back on I find myself gravitating towards the “classic” rock stations now. So am I officially getting old, or was that stuff really just better? I don’t know but I’m not a fan of what popular music has become. I like to imagine that we offer a throw-back to those sorts of now unpopular sounds, the ones with real drums and guitars and melodic vocals. The ones that weren’t afraid to have drum fills or an actual guitar solo. Songs that could paint soundscapes and talk about wizards and starships instead of chicks and sticking it to the man. I also like to imagine our songs do a pretty good job of preserving what was once cool and repackaging it into something fresh and accessible. But remember, I use my imagination for a living, so it’s pretty big, possibly bloated.
Marc: One benefit of the evolution of recording technology is that it allows for almost infinite experimentation and creativity. Strangely the trend seems to be driving toward less of these things. I believe this parallels a general trend toward over-reliance on computing as a shortcut or crutch. Brahm and I love computers and embrace everything about them, but people are ‘programmed’ to respond to human elements first and foremost. So we want our fans to get a healthy dose of escape to the lands of wizards, starships, and intergalactic vampires mentioned by Brahm, but hopefully throw their fists in the air at a simple but well timed and heartfelt guitar string bend or drum thwack that was generated by a flawed human. We also hope that our illogical ambitions and longevity inspire others to pursue whatever goals they’re after.
Sara: What is a memorable moment you've had with your band?
Brahm: For me it was probably sitting at a mixing board in Chicago next to Chip Z’ Nuff (Enuff Z'Nuff) and talking about music… and how he was getting in on the ground-level of an Ostrich farm. I remember him asking me in that beautiful 3-pack of Marlboro’s a day voice “Brother, have you ever had an Ostrich burger?” Ah it’s all about little moments like that isn’t it?
Marc: Speaking of characters you can encounter in recording studios - we once came across a white supremacist band in a studio lounge. They were watching a football game and cheering only for the white players. We had never seen anything like this and were pretty scared of these despicable dudes, but looking back I suppose this was an early albeit twisted version of fantasy football. These encounters are also why we built our own recording studio for our exclusive use.
Sara: How do you continue to foster your passion for music?
Brahm: I’m cyclic. I always have multiple projects going on that generally fall into the categories of music, film, graphic arts or game design. I’ll be focused on writing a screenplay or building a website for months and not even think about picking up a guitar, and then suddenly I find myself sleepwalking over to my bass and going outside to work out some chord progression or a new idea for a chorus. Whenever I think I’ve been away from music the longest is when I always seem to come back and hit it the hardest, as if I never left. I also find myself thinking in terms of encapsulating everything nerd-cool I experience into song. So I’ll watch the Wizard of Oz and start scratching down lyrics about Glinda in a sorceress duel with the Wicked Witch of the West or I’ll finish a campaign of Dungeons & Dragons and come away with a bunch of material for an album. I caught myself wondering the other day why there has never been any rock songs about Dr. Who. Hmmmm…
Marc: I guess I don’t view passion for creating music as something that needs much fostering. It’s just there like the sun coming up.
Sara: What kind of mischief have you and the band gotten into?
Brahm: I remember we were in Nashville recording with producer Michael Wagener. There was a moment where I was so burned out from mixing that I just kind of lost it and everything was overly funny to me. I recall lying on my back behind the couch in the control room and laughing so hard I started to puke a little bit. You know that saliva that kind of burns like acid. I remember really having a moment where I knew if I didn’t inhale oxygen in the next few seconds I was going to die. Not sure I’ve ever laughed that hard. No idea what was so funny of course, and scarily enough I think I was actually sober.
Marc: Well we don’t want to incriminate ourselves with anything serious cuz we have rock operas and movies to make and you can’t do that stuff in jail. We once bought a $5,000 drum set from a music store, recorded some sweet drum tracks, and returned it for a full refund with the tags still on it. I think this was technically legal and we now own some good drums so we should be safe.
Sara: What are the secret weapons you have-example- your values, your faith, your inner strength that made you the musician you've become?
How do you balance life obligations while being a musician?
Brahm: My secret-weapon has always been my ability to sacrifice health and sleep for art. It’s not a safe or recommended weapon, but it is secret. Well it was secret until just now. My gift is my capacity to mature and advance in the real world (holding down a decent day gig, owning a house, buying groceries, long terming a relationship) while managing to maintain a prolific constant output of music and art in a quantity (and quality?) that can hold its own against the full-timers. It’s a lot more work to achieve, I’ll be diagnosed or dead in a few years, but damn it I kept up and have a lot to fall back on. It’s definitely innate though. If I sit down on the couch or go out for cocktails or wait in line at the DMV it only takes a few minutes before I start to feel guilty. How much music could I be creating instead of wasting my time doing [insert anything here]. Some sort of suicidal drive. Did I say 'gift' earlier? Sorry I meant curse.
Sara: How has being a musician in a band impacted you?
Brahm: Musician has been my identity more than anything else in my life plain and simple. I didn’t seek it out, I just realized I could do this stuff and that it was strangely therapeutic for me. No matter who I am with or what I am doing if you peel back all the layers I’m metaphorically sitting in the Mojave on an Indian blanket with a beat-up acoustic guitar writing a song. Now... finding a like-minded individual (let alone individuals) to create music with is not easy, but it is worthwhile. Even as an auteur I still do my very best work when there is some measure of collaboration or load sharing with people I’m socially comfortable with.
Marc: Being in a band is a great learning experience. You get to explore everything from the very internal and solitary experience of music creation to the ultimate extroversion of performance. You learn to take criticism because many people will not like your work. You find that even a group of people with night and day personalities can accomplish something great, but that it’s a hell of a lot easier to work with people you like.
Sara: 'Often The Orphan' is one of my favorites. How did the song come to be? Is there more of a story behind the lyrics?
Brahm: As a general connoisseur of all things fantasy/sci-fi I started to see this strange pattern of writers using orphans as their heroes. But then I also saw it popping up in folklore and mythology as well. Sometimes it was at the forefront of the story, sometimes it was just a quick aside, but a protagonist sans parents was definitely a recurring theme. The list is endless from Superman to Spider-Man, David Copperfield to Dorothy Gale, Tarzan to Tom Sawyer, Moses to Muhammad and even Frodo and Luke Skywalker (for a minute). Aren’t all the Disney princesses orphans too? Oh and Punky Brewster. Obviously a song needed to be written about this.
Marc: Like Punky Brewster, my grandfather was also an orphan and was one of the happiest guys you’d ever meet. My grandmother insisted that the kids at the orphanage were spoiled because they had a swimming pool. Who needs parents when you have a swimming pool?
"A Riff-Tastic And Groove-Laden Melting Pot"
-Justin Kreitzer, Atlas And The Anchor
90's nostalgia is at an all-time high, the guitar-centric "grunge" sound and the fashion are both in a cultural revival right now. Recently, 90's icons Soundgarden and Pearl Jam have both put out great new albums and the Chicago-based alternative hard-rock band Buffalocomotive are set to cash in with their long-awaited debut album, Tears Of The Enchanted Mainframe, which was self-released in August of 2012. With their roots tracing back to the mid-nineties in major-label signed alt. rock groups such as Greta and Grade 8; Buffalocomotive in its current configuration formed in early 2012. The power trio is made up of vocalist and bassist Brahm Taylor and his longtime – since 1987 - collaborator guitarist Marc Kaducak along with drummer, Scott Carneghi. Together they create a riff-tastic and groove-laden melting pot of all things rock that references everything from Black Sabbath's blues-soaked heaviness to the towering stomp of Led Zeppelin along with Rush's progressive arrangements and the catchy, anthemic pop-leaning choruses of the grunge-era. The album was written, produced and mixed by the band themselves in Chicago and was expertly mastered in the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London by Geoff Pesche (Gorillaz, Coldplay) and Alex Wharton (Radiohead, The Breeders).
"Mutha Urth" opens the album with an unfortunate, very "90's" song title but it quickly redeems itself with a hard-charging rhythm and close-knit vocal harmonies with shimmering guitars and soaring vocals along with a melodic guitar solo for a standout moment right from the start. "Often The Orphan" follows and overcomes some slightly distracting goofy singing and lyrics with a gritty, high-energy blues-rock groove. Next, a slinky bass line provides the driving force behind "MedHed" with some scorching guitar melodies and a cruising-with-the-top-down kind of vibe. "Into The Desert" effortlessly combines an elastic guitar line with a foreboding piano riff and some Alice In Chains-like vocal harmonies for a song that could easily have been a radio hit in the 90's. "Black Rose" is highlighted by a propulsive guitar riff and rhythm that suits the band's moniker perfectly and provides the perfect soundtrack for a race down the highway, with its Queens Of The Stone Age-like chug. A stuttering, Southern Rock inflected riff and a highly-melodic vocal makes "Making Friends" sound like Soundgarden if they were into Lynyrd Skynyrd instead of punk rock early in their career.
As a nice mid-album change of pace, the short, mid-tempo "Scratch Out The Sun" is led by moody acoustic guitar strumming and Taylor's soaring, theatrical vocals that leads into "Dot", which rumbles and tumbles with psychedelic vocal harmonies. Consistency is a problem again as "One Million Man" starts off fine enough with a loose groove, crunchy guitars and a very catchy sing-along chorus but the vocals on the verse are just a little too over the top. On the other hand, "Superusurper" is a stoner-rock fan's dream with blown-out Black Sabbath-like blues rock riffs and a dinosaur-size drum beat along with some menacing vocals that recall Clutch at their best for another standout moment. Next, "Mint Green" is built upon Carneghi's head-nodding beat and more of Kaducak and Taylor's complementing vocal harmonies.
The album closes out with the one-two punch of the lurching time changes and psych-rock melodies of "Tremendous And Wide" and the more experimental, hair-metal, rockabilly and grunge hybrid, "Goatspoke" that ends the album on a high note.
With their debut album, Tears Of The Enchanted Mainframe, Buffalocomotive have created a buzz that should carry over to their upcoming sophomore release that the band is currently at work on and which they plan to make into an ambitious concept album involving an albino, a mechanical bull and Aztec mummies that they also plan to turn into either a movie or stage show. Keep an eye out for this electrifying trio!
"Thirteen Songs As Powerful As The Name Of The Band"
-Kevin Abud, SNS Post
Well, where in the hell did this come from?
Every once in a while I get to take off my editor hat and put the proverbial pen to the paper. I had to step in when this album came across my desk. This is a great release, and I’m going to tell you why – in a second. Intros first.
Buffalocomotive, a Chicago-based trio, consists of veteran industry power players Brahm Taylor (Bass, Vox), Marc Kaducak (Guitars) and Scott Carneghi (Drums, Percussion). Individually, you’ve heard these guys in acts that have toured with Ozzfest, you’ve heard them in film soundtracks, you’ve heard them in TV intros. To borrow a phrase from the SNSPost’s Entertainment Editor, Ryan O’Malley, super-groups make great albums because they do it for the joy of making music. I think these Buffalocomotive guys get a real rush from creating this stuff and if we juxtapose that thought, that makes Buffalocomotive a super-group. …that can bite your head off, man.
Kaducak is an invincible guitarist, there’s no question about that. It doesn’t take long while spinning this album to figure out that “Kadu” can play whatever he wants. Does he have to shove it in your face? Nope. But he’s powerful and he knows exactly where to be. That’s a nice asset to have in your back pocket.
Carneghi bangs on his drums fast, hard and right on the money. Very Grohl. Very Jack White. This guy must’ve driven his parents crazy. It’s no wonder he’s shared the national stage with some big acts. That’s asset #2.
But I get the sense that Taylor is the brains behind this outfit and these two are his muscle. (Hey, hey…I’m not diminishing any roles here, just recognizin’!) Yep, I know who this guy is and I’ve followed his career. This is his signature dish, writing tunes like these and coordinating the ensuing blood bath. Brahm Taylor is one of those few-and-far-between talents with the kind of elevated mojo that you better keep an eye on. Can I say that about another man? You bet.
Tears of the Enchanted Mainframe is a masterful effort. Thirteen songs as powerful as the name of the band. Not since the likes of Sabbath have I heard anything with the kind of gusto and creative punches that can slap you in the face 13 times in a row. I’m not telling you that every song is a heavy-handed knock. These guys…these Buffalocomotive guys…know when to take it down a notch. Less is more, quieter is louder, “whatever” is the new black? Must be, because when Taylor’s being low key, he’s there on purpose and his intention is still to slap you.
There are some clear influences here. I swear I heard pieces of Zep, QOTSA, Lips, Foo, Soundgarden and Rush…but “Superusurper” as a subtle nod to War Pigs – boom, awesome. This is a song that crunches your bones. It’s big. And for me, it’s a standout and a highlight. Kaducak’s guitar screams in this piece. I have to think this is going to be a powerful live standard when they take this sucker on the road. [We'll keep you posted if we hear anything before you do.]
“One Million Man” is right before that. This song is a perfect illustration of the creative hooks & lyrics combos that infest this album. They keep you coming back, for sure, and they’ll stick in your head anyway if they don’t. This piece is an uptempo pacemaker with crunchy guitars and megaphone vocals with words that have you believing that Taylor, for 3 minutes and 35 seconds, might actually be the guy that The Most Interesting Man in the World really wants to be.
The aforementioned “down-a-notch” comes in the form of “Scratch Out the Sun.” He’s exhausted, and he’s telling you for the last time. A simple acoustic and a well executed vocal performance. Maybe the best thing about it: It’s not a dragged out, gimme-attention piece. No whining, no drama, just a few points, thank God.
Other notable highlights: Carneghi is a drumming badass on “Dot.” “Making Friends” is what vocal melodies were made for. “MedHed” is a bruiser from the get-go with Taylor’s bangin’ intro on his Ric bass. Sick stuff.
Yada yada, blah blah. I can hypothesize and try to tell you all day long what makes an album a special piece of art, but who am I other than an esteemed editor of a respected online journal with self-proclaimed superior tastes in all aspects? I mean really. But here’s what I can tell you with certainty: “Mrs. Editor-In-Chief,” with whom I share very little crossover in musical taste, found herself enjoying this album as much as I did. Universal appeal can speak volumes.
"Modern Band Making Old Fashioned Hard Rock"
-Hernan M. Campbell, Sputnik Music
Tears Of The Enchanted Mainframe is an album that regresses back to the bare essentials of old fashioned hard rock, formulating a riff-driven style that primarily focuses on melodious grooves, while occasionally diverting into an intense onslaught of sound. Buffalocomotive emanate a rather familiar machismo-fueled attitude in their music, which is quite typical for a hard rock album, but when that kind of demeanor is combined with fuzzed-out guitar antics and mild stoner tendencies, it tends to bring one person to mind- a certain musician who proudly hails from the desert lands of California. At first glance, Buffalocomotive can easily be passed off as a Josh Homme tribute band, minus the drug-induced atmospheres and sexually-charged lyrics. Even the band's lead vocalist, Brahm Taylor, often sounds as if he's doing a Josh Homme impression throughout the entire album. Though as derivative as Buffalocomotive's music may sound, they manage to take the characteristics of their influences and mold it in their own fashion, adding enough of their own vitality and wit to really captivate an audience.
The album opener, "Mutha Urth", demonstrates a slowed down, yet magnified groove that is entirely driven by bludgeoning riffs that are heavily distorted to produce a thick, yet abrasive sound. Though the music itself is indeed heavy and mildly aggressive, there is a strong emphasis on melody being deployed here, and it's primarily contrived from Brahm Taylor's singing style. His voice is very dominant and emphatic in its expression, even managing to appear so in an almost effortless fashion. A song like "Often The Orphan" really shows off his ability to confidently alternate his deliveries from a masculine falsetto, to a lower baritone range so as to thematically compliment whatever direction the music takes him. It's a very impressive feat to accomplish, no doubt about it, but it's yet another aspect in Buffalocomotive's music that is painfully reminiscent to Josh Homme's own signature persona. In fact, two of the album's highlights, "Into The Desert" and "Superusurper", though they cannot really be pointed down to just one album by Queens Of The Stone Age or Them Crooked Vulture's debut, they share this conspicuous aesthetic about them that just immediately brings those bands to mind. From referencing the mystical aura of the desert spirit, to over-indulging in fuzzy distortion and retro, psychedelic-tinged effects, it eventually comes to a point where you'll undoubtably be overwhelmed with a sense of déja vu.
In today's music scene, where individuality and innovation has become a rare quality among artists, we'll often find bands that emulate the traits of their influences getting mercilessly criticized. Even if some great music manages to flourish out of those inspirations, the lack of ingenuity becomes a major diversion for any potential enthusiast. Though to let something so facile discourage any intrigue, only denies you from experiencing something that may in fact be worthwhile. There is virtually nothing organic here about any of the clever schemes deployed in this album, but where Buffalocomotive lack in invention, they more than compensate for within their displays of energy and dexterity. Songs like "Often the Orphan" and "Mint Green" coalesce heavy bombastic riffs with a euphonic compositional flow that really helps augment the impact of their executions in a manner that is positively enthralling. Tears Of The Enchanted Mainframe is a very formidable hard rock effort that is tenaciously faithful to the genre's signature flaunts, but it does occasionally steer away from that concept to explore other styles, such as the bluesy acoustic number, "Scratch Out The Sun". I highly recommend this album to anyone looking for a quality and straightforward hard rock album, because that's all you're going to find here. It may not be anything unique, but at least the music is proficient and orchestrated in an impactive fashion that fully entertains until the final second.
"A Fantastic Musical Journey"
-Mike Conway, Darkstar Eclectic Media
I’ve been following Buffalocomotive’s work for a few years now, and everything I’ve seen has come together in the 13-track Tears of the Enchanted Mainframe (TOTEM). Fortunately, the wait has not been a disappointment at all.
The music reminds me of some of the heavier alternative and rock I used to listen to in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but the sound is brought up to today loudly and powerfully. Every track is a lot of fun, even with the dark lyrics of songs like “Mutha Urth” and “Tremendous and Wide.” The sound reminds me of a mix of Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, with a little Yes mixed in.
Two tracks I really liked were “Black Rose” and “Dot.” “Black Rose” has a darkly romantic-yet-morbid quality to it that I’d love to dance to with my special someone in a darkly lit room. You feel the romantic and sexual tension both in the lyrics and the music.
"Dot" is a special treat for me. Anyone that can rock a love song while invoking the world of the Oz books has a special place in my music collection. The lyrics pull from both the books by L. Frank Baum as well as the famous MGM movie and the Disney half-sequel "Return to Oz." You can feel the love both for the subject of the song, and for Oz itself.
The only place I had a little trouble was “Often the Orphan.” While a great song that evokes the loneliness and fear, but strength, of a young one with no family, hearing the lyric “Ain’t got no mama ain’t got no papa” kind of struck me funny, and had to giggle every time I heard it.
TOTEM is a diverse mix of style and subject that I haven’t heard in a long time, and the ride is a lot of fun and I had trouble shutting it off. I enjoyed it, I loved the energy in it, the mix of dark and light among the songs made for a fantastic musical journey, and to be blunt, I just rocked out hearing it. Five stars.
"Buffalocomotive Bring It"
-Kevin Sellers, Music Emissions
Scratching at the rough stone covering the roots of rock'n'roll is a well-tested direction for an endless line of generic, localized bands spanning the face of the United States and, to a lesser degree, the world abroad. A unique approach is often craved for; Buffalocomotive bring it. This trio of tested musicians, based in Illinois, add to the core by way of layered inspirations; the grime and grit of Black Sabbath, technical proficiency not quite on par with but reminding one of Rush, and the pop sensibilities of the Stones and their ilk. It's all heavily derived from source material, but just enough of the band's individualism shines through to make their debut, Tears of the Enchanted Mainframe, a quality listen.
At the helm of these 13 tracks is bassist and lead vocalist Brahm Taylor, whose Homme-esque vocals combine with some of the bands stoner-rock tendencies to make citing Queens of the Stone Age as an influence far too easy. Far from the half of it, really. There is a duality at work from track to track that mixes grime and glamour, making the band equally accessible as much as an acquired taste depending on who is listening. For myself, I can appreciate the high qualities of musicianship and songwriting present on most of the record, but for whatever reason cannot fully embrace it all. The acoustic intro to opener "Mutha Urth" is excellent, for instance, but the rest of the track gets a little too pop and upbeat for my taste. It's strange how often this happens, but it's not strange to at least appreciate the diverse approach Buffalocomotive takes to their songwriting. "Often the Orphan" takes a quirky approach to twangy rock, and hits a very nice groove that makes it one of the true standouts from the set. "Into The Desert" is the one track I took away from the album that I felt stood above all others, whose hypnotizing guitar work and lyrical despair leave a lasting impression. The remainder of the album is more miss than hit with me, but nowhere can I complain about the overall ability of these 3 gents in terms of doing what they set out to do. Namely, make an alternative hard rock album that is never quite sure of how to define itself.
I could easily recommend Tears of the Enchanted Mainframe to anyone I know, it has that much in the way of immediately catchy and accessible material within. As we all should become accustomed with, just because something is not for you does not mean you cannot see it being custom-built for many others. Buffalocomotive definitely fits that bill, and are worth your time. They know what they are doing and do it better than many more highly touted than themselves.