4 out of 5 Stars!
From Australia, Buffalo burst out of the gate with a trio of wickedly aggressive, Heavy Psych albums back in the early ’70s that, sadly, never got much notice outside the band’s native continent. Indeed, I didn’t discover this group until several decades later, and forever cursed the music media for not covering this group more extensively while it was in existence.
Buffalo, and in particular, Volcanic Rock (the band’s second album), will likely appeal to fans of Black Sabbath, Mountain, Orang-utan, Flower Travellin’ Band, May Blitz, and Captain Beyond, and features a powerful, gritty singer named Dave Tice, along with some of the heaviest-sounding instrumentation (for the time period), slamming rhythms and grooves thanks to bassist Peter Wells and drummer Jimmy Economou, and a guitarist named John Baxter, who offered up brutal riffs and masterful solos.
The raw and fiery energy of tracks such as “Freedom,” “The Prophet,” “Sunrise (Come My Way),” and the connected tracks “Pound of Flesh/Shylock” seem almost a musical template for the genre of Stoner Rock or Blues Rock “retro” acts such as Gov’t Mule, and even Grunge bands, especially Soundgarden.
Unfortunately, once John Baxter left the group after the next album, Buffalo never delivered material that matched the caliber of Volcanic Rock, a must-have for all guitar lovers.