its a buffalo – Don’t Be Scared (Akoustik Anarkhy)
Best buds – should they be in a band together? The stupidly-named its a buffalo all live in one house and play all day, by the sounds of it. This is, undoubtedly, lovely and a reason why their debut LP sounds so unified in purpose, but is there something of a sheltered view unifying them further? The Mancunian swagger is there, the lofty lyrics that equate the mundane to the almost inter-planetary, but its a buffalo have a trump in the fact they have a distinctly lighter touch and softer, more flexible bent than what popular conscience has come to expect from the area.
Marbles is notable for its simplicity and reliance on a well-placed CHANT. Breezy and approachable, that simplicity is matched by its thankful brevity (that’s meant as a positive). Similarly, Somewhere In Range is effortless and a little fierier. All fine, all lovely and pleasantly warming throughout. Then, it all falls apart and the clichés begin to fall like cats and dogs (I’m here all week…). The winsome but flabby and faux-menacing Climb Climb commits the most cardinal of pop music sins by including studio applause at its finish – ‘cos blokes in studios just know when musical history is being created. How conceited to include notions that others think you’re amazing. We don’t need to be told anything as far as reception goes. Let us decide for ourselves.
After that, there’s an awful lot of spirited filler. Jangle jangle jangle, twang twang twang it says, as if it matters or shows any sign of saving itself from being forgotten by the tastemakers. But then, Jesus! It sort of does save itself! You can’t forget the revisited spirit and buoyancy of Divorce Song! It’s a little long, but at least we’re out of the woods. Indeed, the chorusing screams of “RUN HIDE RUN HIDE RUN HIDE!” on the climaxing Run And Hide are pure gang mentality and terrific fun, and make the whole deal an awful lot more difficult to refuse. For all their shortcomings, its a buffalo appear to have created an enticing debut. Bits of it are certainly not enticing, but if those were ironed out we’d have a thoroughly agreeable EP.
Best buds, then. You can operate well in a band, but by Christ have some arguments. Annoy each other whenever you can and don’t valorise everything you create. Slag off what one of you thinks is this year’s At The Chime Of A City Clock. Maybe get a little bit violent. Or just don’t see each other for a while. Exercise some quality control and its a buffalo could bring us their freshness and their boings of charm and vim for a lot longer. For now, though, careful lads.
Don’t Be Scared is available from the 16th of March on Akoustik Anarchy records. PM’s impression of AA, after several gigs and associated releases, is mixed, y’know. Some good, some bad. Check out Neil Burrell, though, he’s good.