Album Review: Avi Buffalo, ‘Avi Buffalo’

23 May

It seems that with the success of progressive, electric-rock music this year and its emergence into the mainstream media, it has become, well, less progressive. That’s until a few fresh and untainted faces remind us originality isn’t dead and hype is for losers. The electrifying, beach-infused sound which surrounds Avi Buffalo’s new eponymous LP is nothing less than euphoric. Textured and vibrant melodies on top of complicated and occasional perfectly mismatched instrumentation induce a purely hypnotic intoxication.

The quartet that conveys teenage angst and sexual frustration know a thing or two about it. Guitarist and frontman Avigdor Zanher-Isenberg (or so lovingly known as Avi), drummer Sheridan Riley, and master of the ivories Rebecca Coleman are still attendees of Millikan High School in Long Beach. Bassist Arin Fazio is the only one who is actually legally allowed to consume alcoholic beverages in the bars they perform in. But their age hasn’t been a hinderance; it’s what has made them the new sensation they have become in the short time they’ve been a band. Avi’s almost prepubescent voice creates a juxtaposition between youth and maturity as he sings about being downright horny in songs like “Summer Cum.” Avi sings, “I’ve been waiting for your love/ I got lost in your summer cum.” There is purity and honesty in his voice as he fearlessly and unapologetically belts lyrics about sexual longing.

There certainly isn’t a lack of conceptual, psychedelic indie music to choose from and with MGMT’s new album, Congratulations, we’re practically swimming in face paint and feathers. After a quick glance to Avi Buffalo’s album, you may think it’s just a band riding on another’s enormously successful coattails. Avi’s androgynous and at times whiny voice offers quite a resemblance to that of MGMT frontman Andrew VanWyngarden, and their song “Remember Last Time” could certainly be mistaken for something on Congratulations. But don’t be mistaken. This comparison is not to deter listeners but encourage them to give Avi Buffalo a second, third, even fourth listen to pick out the differences that make them intrinsically fantastic and organically unique; completely lacking pretension. —Allison Flaker


2 Responses to “Album Review: Avi Buffalo, ‘Avi Buffalo’”

  1. Tony Gervino June 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    It’s nice to read a fresh, persuasive take on new music. It makes me want to check out the band. And I’m looking forward to seeing your byline here more often, Ms. Flaker.

    • Allison June 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

      Why thank you! I hope they continue putting my stuff up as long as it’s good. You definitely should check out Avi Buffalo, they’re a great local Long Beach band and they’re definitely going to be heading that way soon if my predictions serve me.

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