Friday, September 6, 2013
Buffalo Clover - Test Your Love
What do you want to call it this time around? Americana? Roots Rock? That’s generic as all can be, but yet it’s a tell-tale sign of the sound that is going to emanate from your speakers. As unoriginal as it is to call it so... Buffalo Clover’s new record on Badger Records, Test Your Love, is as textbook as you can get with the Americana/ Roots Rock sound. The PR sheet calls it a country record and roots-rock, but let’s be real here. You wouldn’t probably listen to anything new labeled “country” if you are reading this blog. If you do, that’s cool. Me too, but not necessarily on purpose. Buffalo Clover’s sound is way to rock and roll (in the actual classic sense) and soulful for modern country radio. I They’d be lucky to be mentioned on CMT’s Wide Open Country internet station. CMT’s loss. It’s not what Buffalo Clover are going for anyway.
I’ve seen Buffalo Clover live a few times now and I don’t like missing them if it can be helped. Like I said, they are a rock band. They are from Nashville. That shouldn’t mean to much, but when you hail from Music City, it has to weigh on your thoughts a little bit. These guys and gals (I believe there are two married couples in the band) don’t mess around with their live sound and can’t afford to either. It shows. It comes across in the recording as well. Margo Price’s vocal are sharp. It is almost impossible to not think of Dolly Parton when she reaches for those syrupy high notes and nasally vibrato even if she doesn’t have Dolly’s range. Clean, funky guitar keys sounds make a fantastic bed for the vocals to nestle into. The band digs in, man. They boogie for sure.
It must be said, since they are as big as a rock band can get these days, but Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes lends her vocals to the song “Misery”. Margo Price has collaborated with her before on previous projects. It’s a great selling point and the backing vocals sound great, but the record could stand as tall as it was going to without the mention. In terms of sound, Test Your Love isn’t too far off from the sound of The Alabama Shakes last record, since their marketing people seem to be wanting to draw that conclusion. It’s cleaner and the guitars are more in tune. The lively in-studio, minimal overdubs, “you’ve heard this before but can’t put your finger on it” sound is really a must for a band trying to channel that classic, soul filled sound. So far, so good for Buffalo Clover. I hope there is some room their band to grow. Test Your Love may not change your life in terms of album content, but I’d be damned if it isn’t a good, especially for the back-road cruising crowd.