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King Buffalo – Regenerator Award winner

King Buffalo
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 August 2022, 7:00 AM

Rochester, New York-based trio KING BUFFALO will issue their fifth full-length, “Regenerator,” on Sept. 2, 2022, as a self-release in North America and through Stickman Records in Europe. The band returned to live activity late last year, touring alongside CLUTCH and more recently a full North American spring tour. By the time “Regenerator” arrives, they will have completed a UK and European headlining tour with festival appearances in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium and Denmark. The album contains seven tracks.

The title track is the first cut; a lengthy offering. Following a spacey keyboard entrance, the main riff kick in, with a jovial and psychedelic sound, and plenty of melodies. The vocals are as smooth as butter. An extended instrumental section occupies much of the middle of this song, with more psychedelic elements. It begins to crescendo, with plump bass notes and trippy leads, ending with the smooth notes from the beginning. “Mercury” is another smooth and cool frolic. Because of the bass player, and the way the leads work in, the instruments remind me of RUSH, but the vocals are low in the register, gentle and fluid. It kicks in a bit harder towards the end.

“Hours” is just a bit heavier, but still with that sexy swing. The band moves through sections of the song almost effortlessly, and have a penchant for a sleek and polished sound. This is just very enjoyable to listen to. “Interlude” is a three-minute segue to the second half of the album. The melodies are quite pleasing, but never too much. “Mammoth” is a silky song with attractive and engaging melodies, harkening back to a 1970’s sound without repeating what has been done in the past. A heavier riff comes in around the half-way mark, giving the song a little more strength, followed by a guitar solo with a lot of soul, and ending with some retro keyboard notes. “Avalon” features an airy and dreamy sound, from the combination of bass, lead guitars, and vocals. Let this song gently whisk you away to a tropical island where the sun and waves are all that you need.

“Firmament” closes the album. It features a simple but pleasing sound, which is a little bit dark at times. The word means “the heavens or the sky, especially when regarded as a tangible thing.” Psychedelic tones begin to build to a mesmerizing rhythm, and it ends with power. Dan Reynolds’ bass work might be the best part of this album. He has a velvety touch when it comes to his playing style. The synergy created within the instruments is significant, and the vocals are the tasty icing on the cake if you will. Sean’s lead notes are trippy, and compliment the music well, and Scott’s drums provide the ideal support system. If you are a fan of Progressive Rock, and looking for something familiar, yet unexampled, give “Regenerator” a go.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Regenerator
2. Mercury
3. Hours
4. Interlude
5. Mammoth
6. Avalon
7. Firmament
Sean McVay – Guitar, Vocals, Synth
Dan Reynolds – Bass, Synth
Scott Donaldson – Drums
Record Label: Stickman Records


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