Buffalo Road “Whole New Silence” (Backwater Records, 2017)

Buffalo Road’s third record “Whole New Silence” is described as something of a “lost album” by their record company, having first been completed in 2016 while only seeing the light of day last November. Meanwhile, the band are currently said to be “pursuing separate ventures,” having split up due to work commitments. The band have some longstanding pedigree given that this Ipswich-based act released two previous albums in 1993 and 1995, so their third comes after a hiatus of some 22 years. Released by Backwater Records, there are 10 original compositions on the record by Mike Summers and Gary Keeble. The album title comes from what’s almost certainly the best song – ‘Bullet’– an elegiac plea from the protagonist for a stay of execution for just one day: “There’s a bullet with my name on/Has found its way from your gun.. into me.”

‘Among the Birds,’ its follow up also has some nice harmony vocalising, which adds some welcome variety to what’s otherwise a fairly average collection of English Americana, the opening song ‘Don’t Slam the Door’ being fairly typical. While most of the songs aspire to be American sounding this means they end up lacking any distinct identity of their own.

While some records gather dust in the recording vaults due to copyright issues or legal disagreements, this album does feel like something of an afterthought and rather begs the question as to whether there might have been some quality control issues with “Whole New Silence” which led to a delay in its release when first recorded.

6/10

Summary

Previously lost collection from now defunct East Anglian Americana act fails to convince.

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