Kevin K Abud, Editor-In-Chief, SNSPost
Every once in a while I get to take off my editor hat and put the proverbial pen to the paper. I had to step in when this album came across my desk. This is a great release, and I’m going to tell you why – in a second. Intros first.
Buffalocomotive, a trio, consists of veteran industry power players Brahm Taylor (Bass, Vox), Marc Kaducak ( ) and Scott Carneghi (Drums, Percussion). Individually, you’ve heard these guys in acts that have toured with Ozzfest, you’ve heard them in film soundtracks, you’ve heard them in TV intros. To borrow a phrase from the SNSPost’s Entertainment Editor, Ryan O’Malley, super-groups make great albums because they do it for the joy of making music. I think these Buffalocomotive guys get a real rush from creating this stuff and if we juxtapose that thought, that makes Buffalocomotive a super-group. …that can bite your head off, man.
Kaducak is an invincible guitarist, there’s no question about that. It doesn’t take long while spinning this album to figure out that “Kadu” can play whatever he wants. Does he have to shove it in your face? Nope. But he’s powerful and he knows exactly where to be. That’s a nice asset to have in your back pocket.
Carneghi bangs on his drums fast, hard and right on the money. Very Grohl. Very Jack White. This guy must’ve driven his parents crazy. It’s no wonder he’s shared the national stage with some big acts. That’s asset #2.
But I get the sense that Taylor is the brains behind this outfit and these two are his muscle. (Hey, hey…I’m not diminishing any roles here, just recognizin’!) Yep, I know who this guy is and I’ve followed his career. This is his signature dish, writing tunes like these and coordinating the ensuing blood bath. Brahm Taylor is one of those few-and-far-between talents with the kind of elevated mojo that you better keep an eye on. Can I say that about another man? You bet.
Tears of the Enchanted Mainframe is a masterful effort. Thirteen songs as powerful as the name of the band. Not since the likes of Sabbath have I heard anything with the kind of gusto and creative punches that can slap you in the face 13 times in a row. I’m not telling you that every song is a heavy-handed knock. These guys…these Buffalocomotive guys…know when to take it down a notch. Less is more, quieter is louder, “whatever” is the new black? Must be, because when Taylor’s being low key, he’s there on purpose and his intention is still to slap you.
There are some clear influences here. I swear I heard pieces of Zep, QOTSA, Lips, Foo, Soundgarden and Rush…but “Superusurper” as a subtle nod to War Pigs – boom, awesome. This is a song that crunches your bones. It’s big. And for me, it’s a standout and a highlight. Kaducak’s guitar screams in this piece. I have to think this is going to be a powerful live standard when they take this sucker on the road. [We'll keep you posted if we hear anything before you do.]
“One Million Man” is right before that. This song is a perfect illustration of the creative hooks & lyrics combos that infest this album. They keep you coming back, for sure, and they’ll stick in your head anyway if they don’t. This piece is an uptempo pacemaker with crunchy guitars and megaphone vocals with words that have you believing that Taylor, for 3 minutes and 35 seconds, might actually be the guy that The Most Interesting Man in the World really wants to be.
The aforementioned “down-a-notch” comes in the form of “Scratch Out the Sun.” He’s exhausted, and he’s telling you for the last time. A simple acoustic and a well executed vocal performance. Maybe the best thing about it: It’s not a dragged out, gimme-attention piece. No whining, no drama, just a few points, thank God.
Other notable highlights: Carneghi is a drumming badass on “Dot.” “Making Friends” is what vocal melodies were made for. “MedHed” is a bruiser from the get-go with Taylor’s bangin’ intro on his Ric bass. Sick stuff.
Yada yada, blah blah. I can hypothesize and try to tell you all day long what makes an album a special piece of art, but who am I other than an esteemed editor of a respected online journal with self-proclaimed superior tastes in all aspects? I mean really. But here’s what I can tell you with certainty: “Mrs. Editor-In-Chief,” with whom I share very little crossover in musical taste, found herself enjoying this album as much as I did. Universal appeal can speak volumes.
Get this record. And speaking of volume, play it loud.
Kevin Abud is Editor-In-Chief of the SNSPost, a music critic and a musician himself.