Young Buffalo – “Young Von Prettylips”

Check out Sean Pritchard’s review of this Oxford, Mississippi band’s debut EP, due out July 19th!

Sean Pritchard

out of 10

Young Buffalo
Young Von Prettylips
July 19, 2011
Cantora Records

There’s got to be something in the water in Oxford, Mississippi. In the past ten years, bands from this city have steadily churned out awe-inspiring record after record. The city is home to noted blues musicians R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, as well as the record label that made them famous, Fat Possom Records but it’s Oxford’s current music scene that is turning the city into a music Mecca of the South. In recent years bands like Colour Revolt, Dent May & His Magnificent Ukelele, and Bass Drum of Death have caught the attention of blogs, radio stations, and music aficionados all around the country. Oxford’s newest soon-to-be-huge product is a band by the name of Young Buffalo.

Headed by former-Bass Drum of Death member Jim Barrett (John’s younger brother)Young Buffalo displays a tremendous amount of potential with the release of their debut EP Young Von Prettylips. The Oxford based trio wrote an album that immediately grasps the listeners attention. Young Von Prettylips first track “Only We Can Keep You From Harm” begins with a slow, crescendo vocal chant that becomes layered with tasteful harmonies from Alex Von Hardberger and Ben Yarbrough and is held together by a swirling, reveb-heavy organ track. Almost as quickly as the track develops a slow and tribal rhythmic pattern, it transitions to a sporadic, and vibrant melody that insists that your body starts moving. Minutes into this first track, you can tell the strong points that could easily send these guys to the top of the indie music scene. Consistent, dynamic vocal harmonies are weaved in and out of each stanza and remain clear and collected without taking on the shrillness that is commonly found in more recent indie-pop records.

The album continues on in this fashion with each track being a distinguishably different sound while retaining the noisy pop vibe of the previous song. “Speak EZ”  features Barrett’s belted vocals over a driving beat that quickly becomes anthemic, as do most of the tracks on the album. “Full Metal Whacket” flows freely with a Brian Wilson meets Weezer vibe that chimes along till Barrett releases with an abrupt shout of “Love the life you live, live the life you’re loving” before the song breaks down into a distortion saturated riff that transitions into a jangling chorus.

“Catapilah” stands out as the finest song on the album. I felt like I was going to over analyze the song if I tried to describe all of its fine points. I promise you, you’ll enjoy each and every part that makes this song whole. From the immediate hoops and hollers to a clever and thoughtful rhyme scheme a gigantic chorus resembling Fanfarlo or The Morning Benders, this song quickly proves that Young Buffalo is a name you should remember. You can give the official video for “Catapilah” a view HERE.

The final track on the album “Bury Me” would have to be my least favorite of the five. While melodically, the song stands out from others on the album, in my eyes it lacks the lyrical character of the previous tracks and in ways resembles an underproduced Kings of Leon or even U2. While “anthemic” is a word, I’ve seen used to describe this album in a number of places, “Bury Me” goes a bit too far in that direction for my taste.

I’ve listened through the EP a number of times so far and I keep finding myself skipping “Bury Me” in favor of the bands most recent release, a cover of Broken Social Scene’s “Anthem For A 17 Year Old Girl”. Now with this, they did everything and more right. You can download it for free HERE:

You can see these young gents on tour the next few months at the following stops:

 Young Buffalo Tour

Wed 20th July – Middle East Upstairs – Boston, MA

Thurs 21st July – Piano’s – New York, NY

Sat 23rd July – Knitting Factory – w/Wu Lyf/BDOD – SOLD OUT – Brooklyn, NY

Sat 23rd July – Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NY

Sun 24th July – The Saint – Asbury Park, NJ

Tues 26th July – Horseshoe Tavern – FREE SHOW – Toronto, ON, Canada

Weds 27th July – Vernor’s Room – FREE SHOW – Pontiac, MI

Fri 29th July – Subterranean w/Colourmusic – Chicago, IL

Mon 1st Aug – The Palladium Ballroom w/ARCTIC MONKEYS – Dallas, TX

Tues 2nd Aug – Stubbs – w/ARCTIC MONKEYS – Austin, TX

Wed 3rd Aug – House of Blues – w/ARCTIC MONKEYS – Houston, TX

Thurs 8th Sept – Crocodile Cafe – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – Seattle, WA

Fri 9th Sept – Venue – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – Vancouver, BC

Mon 12th Sept – The Independent – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – San Francisco, CA

Tues 13th Sept – The Music Box – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – Los Angeles, CA

Wed 14th Sept – The Casbah – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – San Diego, CA

Thu 22nd Sept – Newport Music Hall – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – Columbus, OH

Sun 25th Sept – Paradise Rock Club – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – Boston, MA

Tues 27th Sept – Phoenix Theatre – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – Toronto, ONT

Wed 28th Sept – Corona – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – Montreal, QC

Fri 30th Sept – Webster Hall – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – New York, NY

Sat 1st Oct – Music Hall of Williamsburg – w/THE VACCINES, TENNIS – Brooklyn, NY

– Sean Pritchard – July 18th, 2011