ALBUM REVIEW: Lord Buffalo – Holus Bolus

ALBUM REVIEW: Lord Buffalo – Holus Bolus

A dark cloud is looming on the horizon. We sense that a storm is approaching. But while such images often suggest difficult times ahead, Bolus Holus (Blues Funeral Recordings), the latest album from the folk-rock quartet Lord BuffaloThese coming rains could be a welcome release.

Lord Buffalo clearly knows how to create an atmosphere. Bolus Holus is heavy with meaning, like a swirling rain cloud filling the sky. Rather than trying to dazzle with flashy melodies, the music takes its time, unfolding, all the while building tension and intensity.

The opening track is a perfect example, with guitar (and maybe violin) lines shimmering like distant lightning, bass and drums pulsing underneath.

There’s a certain shamanic quality throughout the record, both in terms of the slow-building music and the frontman’s performance. Daniel Pruitt — who could channel Mark Lanegan, Ian Astbury (The cult) Or Jeffrey Lee Pierce (The shooting club) and maybe all of them.

While there is a climax in the album’s first track, there is more tension than release elsewhere (such as the following instrumental “Slow Drug”). It’s interesting to have an instrumental as a second track, but across the album’s breadth it works well and generally Bolus Holus is very well paced.

Often it is the steady beat of the drum Yamal Said who provide a powerful presence that supports the heavy atmosphere that feels like a storm waiting to erupt. Yet, as the drone of “Malpaisano” (seemingly devoid of percussion) demonstrates, the band is no one-trick pony when it comes to building tension.

Bolus Holus is an album that could go unnoticed. It’s not about colorful fireworks, but there is a kind of discreet majesty in this music. With the violin of Patrick Patterson A key element (and effective use of piano) is Lord Buffalo’s subtlety in the way they often stray just enough from where you think they’ll take the music, to keep the album intriguing.

Okay, go ahead, I’m ready for the downpour.

Buy the album here:

8 / 10
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