As someone who hasn’t travelled as much of the world as I would like, who explores a lot of the world through it’s music and everything that it evokes, Buffalo Clover sound like nothing less than America’s beating heart. And to be fair it is probably an America that never existed outside it’s road movies, TV adverts, beat legacy, literature and other rose tinted nostalgia, but in my mind it is what America should sound like. Away from the celebrity spotlight of what we laughingly call the music industry, disposable pop with it’s bland shopping mall beat and faceless landfill indie – all complicated hair and scenester regulations, Buffalo Clover ofter us something real, something authentic, something that you won’t look at in ten years time and just muse “what was I thinking!”
Already with a proven track record in their native Nashville the surprise that accompanies their new album, Test Your Love, is not how great the songs are but why more people don’t know about them. Blending punk street soul, rootsy juke box r’n’b, blissed out blues, country rock and a host of other americana flavours, they mix classic, timeless sounds with a contemporary production that makes for the perfect album. Horn sections blare as if before walls of Jericho, Hammond organs ooze cool, beats drive the groove and guitar licks search for that lost chord, whilst anyone in the music’s path can’t help but boogie, swing and strut.
It is the sound of truck stops blending into back street Chicago blues clubs which in turn become the sound of a rocking chair creaking on a back porch as the screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways and there is a distinct possibility that Roy Orbison is playing on the radio. It is the sound of an alternative, underground path that music took when it should have become the mainstream. It is the sound of a midnight ritual designed to re-animate the zombie corpse of the muse of music that mattered, still matters and will continue to matter, long after the current boy band fad has returned to a day job where the main concern is asking the customer if they want fries with that!
Sadly the modern pop picker probably only has access to the glorious past via modern cash-ins that are more about Amy Winehouse’s beehive hair or the pub landlady of pop, Adele, and her false retro posturing. Even if this wasn’t the case, Buffalo Clover would still be important to the cause, but the current bandwagoning makes their brand of modern-retro classic essential as a torch to be kept burning.