[wpaudio url="http://sickoftheradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/buffalo_poolside.mp3" text="Buffalo Moon- Poolside" dl="0"]
Minneapolis via South Dakota/Ecuador five-piece Buffalo Moon just dropped Wetsuit, a real gem of a tape on MPLS label Moon Glyph. Everything about the tape bleeds the colors of seasonal change, from Spring to Summer and back again, even down to the floral j-card pattern and bright orange cassette shell.
The young band’s sound covers a lot of mature ground, influences ranging from South American psych pioneers like Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso to Stereolab‘s smooth-as-silk lounge aesthetic. The band shows off their youth as well, with lyrical content referencing text messaging, cigs and schoolbooks. Particularly strong are Karen Freire’s vocals, bringing to mind Sleater-Kinney‘s muscular vibrato. At times Freire sounds ready for the stage, belting out lines once recited by some great actress of decades past.
Lyrics transition effortlessly between Spanish and English, with Freire settling on English for her sweetest croon in the last track “Beach Boy.” This number evolves from her lone vocal in the first verse to a more complex web of harmonies in the next, trumpet and clarinet nudging their way into the song’s climax. Other highlights include Moon Glyph’s sultry sample track “Poolside Dreaming,” spotless album opener “Rat Song” and the theatrical “Money, Pussy, Weed,” which sounds like it should have been recorded with Freire laying atop a sleek grand piano, plumes of smoke emanating from a long cigarette holder between her fingers.