One of the problems we see with super-bands, or solo projects of established musicians is that they don’t quite have a rapport with their fellow musicians. The best example of this is Grizzly Bear. The two songwriters, Rossen and Droste, have different vocal styles that has taken three albums to bring together. This is not the case with England’s Bite the Buffalo because the rock duo are brothers. When I first listened to their EP, “Bromigos,” (unaware they were siblings) I was shocked about how together they were. Then I learned that they had grown up together and it all started to make sense. In their full length album, “Blue Lips,” the brothers Goneos essentially deliver a studio mastered version of their EP offering, adding in some additional textural layers to the standard crunchy guitar and drums.
The two can hold a harmony quite well together, but what impresses me most is the vocal range and variety that lead singer and guitarist Stos offers. The first half of “Blue Lips” delivers a standard rock album offering that one might expect from The White Stripes or The Black Keys, demonstrating the guitar skills of Stos and the intricate musical relationship he’s developed with brother Miti. They’re both very good on their own right, but I am particularly impressed with Stos. The second half of the album loosens up and the listener can really see the melodic variety Bite the Buffalo has. What Stos does on his own is difficult enough musically. How Miti matches up with all the little breaks and rests is amazing. However, the two don’t dwell on their own musical prowess the way the power bands of the 1970’s did, when everyone had a solo that went on for ten minutes. The two still opt for simplicity, and then pull out their huge musical balls for a moment or two. “With The Thief,” is the album’s best, and a video with a throwback cartoon can be found below the album cover.
Not only should you check out “Blue Lips” and “Bromigos” to get an idea of what Bite the Buffalo can do, but I highly recommend you follow up with them over the next few years. They seem like very promising musicians, and I am very interested in what they do next.