From the green hills and castles of Southern Wales, BUFFALO SUMMER presents their newest album Second Sun (UDR Music). Scheduled to be released on May 20 Andrew Hunt (Vocals), Jonny Williams (Guitar), Darren King (Bass) and Gareth Hunt (Drums) have put together their latest effort to share with the world. The Welsh sound is unlike anything elsewhere. Blazing the trail for the boys, infamous bands such as BADFINGER, BUDGIE and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE have paved the rock n’ roll way. All these bands have that distinct Welsh vibe and BUFFALO SUMMER brings the same, but this time with a distinct southern rock feel.
From their website the band shares: “effortlessly upbeat; groove-laden; sing-along balls out rock n roll band.” Unlike the typical metal or heavy rock bands I usually review, this is a nice change with well thought out tunes, with meaning and tight musicianship and a feel good groove. Not heavy by any means, the band seems solid. Unique in their own right, there are not a lot of new bands to compare with, but I can give you an idea from my past experiences of what you might expect. Efforts like “Money”, “Levitate”, and “Into Your Head” bring back memories of amped up MARSHALL TUCKER BAND and THE OUTLAWS with steel guitar and some tasty licks.
There is a good harmony from “Nevermind” and if you want a feel good, close your eyes, toe tapping song, try “As High as the Pines”, “Priscilla”, or “Light of the Sun” on for size. A big surprise for me was “Heartbreakin’ Floorshakin’”. If you are a fan of MONTROSE, you will notice the same raw guitar and catchy licks similar to “Rock Candy”. I’m a big Ronnie Montrose and Sammy Hagar fan so intentional similarities or not, this song is probably my favorite on the album.
“Little Charles” tosses some some tasty guitar with a bit of sax. It comes up short on diverse lyrics, however. “Make You Mine” took me back to “Gimme Back My Bullets” by LYNYRD SKYNYRD. Hunt’s vocals are reminiscent of the late Ronnie Van Zant. “Bird on a Wire” and “Water to Wine” tidy up the LP with bluesy and soulful efforts with some mellow southern rock.
The production and mix is well done and I think brings out a unique meshed southern rock/Welch feel. However, the tunes seem to run together at times. I’d would have liked some heavier or even more mellow songs and was hoping for more diversity. The plus side is that if you enjoy a unique southern rock then look no further as BUFFALO SUMMER has their hole in the universe filled. Find your favorite chair on the porch, grab a big frosty glass of your favorite beverage and break out Second Sun. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the warm, tuneful approach.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Heartbreakin’ Floorshakin’”