The Buffalo Skinners “Picking Up What You’re Putting Down”

Independent, 2024

Turn up the volume in the car for rocking retro set with US West Coast, garage band scene and folk-rock stylings.

artwork for Buffalo Skinners album "Picking Up What You're Putting Down".Beginning life as a busking band in Scarborough, the Buffalo Skinners’ new album ‘Picking Up What You’re Putting Down’ has a foot in both the homegrown and Stateside camps,  partly recorded and produced by original band member Lawrence Menard at Mantle Records in California, and partly in Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield.

The blend of influences proves to be a winning combination, with nods to the US West Coast sound,  the garage band scene,  folk rock, the 60’s British Invasion bands and even the Kaiser Chiefs, within a firmly rocking vibe—especially suited to driving with the volume up high!

The high energy and retro feel of the Kaiser Chiefs is evident on the title track which opens the album, with a powerful riff on guitar doubled up on fiddle, the fiddle a unifying thread across the release’s 12 tracks. 

‘Sonny Song’, an ode to the realities of parenthood with its refrain “Wah, wah, wah” blends the garage band sound of the Fleshtones with distorted fiddle and other memorable riffs, while ‘Slim Richmond’ has the West Coast feel of early Jefferson Airplane, with fine work on Fender Rhodes from Menard, who is also credited with electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, keys and back up vocals.

The band line up is completed by Peter Seccombe on lead vocals and electric and acoustic guitars, James Nicholls on violin, electric guitar, piano and backup vocals, Miles Stapleton on drums, David Haynes on bass and percussion, Rebecca Phillip on backup vocals and Philip Nixon on additional electric guitar.

‘Washing My Hands’ has a gentle skiffle feel, on the theme of realising that change is in your hands, with its refrain “washing my hands of you” and a domestic lyric reminiscent of Chris Difford “Your day starts late and lazy/ From unwashed sheets of paisley/ You kick on the telly, yell to your Mum/ You need to get my washing done.” Perhaps a reference to the Who’s “at least I’ll get my washing done” in ‘Substitute’ ?

Album closer ‘Regret, Regret’  has a slow tempo lo-fi feel, if not recorded live achieving that vibe, a rather sprawling piece at over 8 minutes, in contrast with the sharper focus of the remainder of the collection.

“Picking Up What You’re Putting Down” is a strong set with memorable riffs and prominent fiddle – definitely one to return to.

8/10
8/10

About David Jarman 117 Articles
Long time fan of Americana genre, from early days of Ry Cooder, through to today's thriving scene. Regular visitor to USA ( Nashville/Austin/Memphis/LA ) live music junkie, I play guitar, mandolin, harmonica, plus vocals, run monthly jam session in Broadstairs
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