I immerse myself in the new EP, Repeater by King Buffalo and immediately I find myself taken up by the drums, and catapulted on a dusty train heading for some Midwestern town with a water tower and a windmill next to its station.
Sitting on the roof of the train the wind is sucking my hair backwards as I gaze over the plains. There are views for days, as the rhythm pushes onwards, steadily, hypnotically, seemingly endless. A soothing voice joins the train and the drums.
“Every day is the same”
Is a phrase that lifts itself up from the others. The drums and the rhythm and the voice and the repetition and the lulling, soothing voice, and now also a deeply psychedelic organ takes my thoughts further. “No time to tend to the fire”, another phrase.
All is not well. Every day is the same and “how the years have wasted away everything into the flame”. It is time for these gigantic riffs to come and illustrate the fire. It washes over me while I’m still on the moving train, it’s deeply spiritual and cleansing.
I feel…I’m not exactly sure how I feel.
The music takes a moment of reflection, or is it just to get ready for the building of a final crescendo. That’s it. There are the wave-like riffs again. I know how I feel now. I feel sadness, deep, and hollow, but I also feel that at the end of those riffs, right there after those singing flames, there is some light.
King Buffalo tells us that we might be repeaters, we might find ourselves stuck in a rut, a cog in a machine we have no control of, but if we are ready to start a fire we might also be able to overcome.
All might not be lost.
It is a beautiful thing for music to have this kind of soothing power. I feel the band knows this. Moreover they know exactly what to say and when to say it, and also when not to say anything. That is also why the song “Repeater” is followed by the instrumental “Too Little, Too Late” (stern, merciless riffs followed by more train-like rhythmic delay paddling), and closed by the steady, reflective, even paced “Centurion.” It’s a song that would have Lightning At The Door-era All Them Witches fans drooling and wishing for more.
The steady pace, the melancholic vocals, and the absolutely mountainous climax with its ever-building riffs do exactly what they need to do: they leave the listener begging for more.
King Buffalo have mastered their craft, Repeater shows us this much.
The feelings and thoughts conjured up by their work have crept into my brain and nested there, craving more of this brand of psychedelic bluesrock shamanery. They are evil in that way, Steppenwolf-like Pushermen even perhaps. Let’s hope they’ll cook up another batch of this stuff real soon.