It’s been four years since the American blues-fuzz-rock band, Buffalo Fuzz, released their self-titled debut LP, and now the duo is getting ready to release their sophomore album “Buffalo Fuzz II” on June 5th, 2020 (now available for pre-order).
Established in Minneapolis, MN, USA, in 2015, Buffalo Fuzz comprises of Jared Zachary on guitar and lead vocals, and the late Jake Allan on drums and backing vocals. The two are well known for their masterful ability to draw on the fuzz-rock elements inspired by legends like Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats, and the soulfulness of Swedish blues icons like Graveyard, and ultimately, holding true to the essence in gritty American blues music.
“I said I needed love, I said I needed life — I need a token from some measure of the divine.”
Zachary shares that a significant portion of their inspiration in the recording process of Buffalo Fuzz II had heavily relied on the anticipation of further elaborating on the themes presented in their debut album. There was also a huge need to get back into the studio and excrete this pent up creative energy that was built up in the years that had passed since the creation of the first album.
Enthusiasm to get back in the studio aside, Buffalo Fuzz didn’t miss out on any tricks to make this the best album they could create. Buffalo Fuzz II was tracked at Pearl Recording Studio to the very same Studer tape machine that was used to track Nirvana‘s In Utero. The result of combining the energy of both Nirvana and Buffalo Fuzz translated powerfully within the recordings, creating a hard-hitting rock and roll album that is Buffalo Fuzz II.
However, much like the faith of the Seattle grunge band, Nirvana, tragedy also struck the blues-duo. In June of 2018, just a month after recording the 11 tracks for this up and coming album, drummer Jake Allan died by suicide at the age of 24. Since then, the album has been sitting on the shelf for months, before singer/guitarist Jared Zachary had been able to return to the studio and finalize the mixes for the songs.
Therefore, this record is much more than a simple release of the sophomore record, this album commemorates something and someone near and dear to Jared Zachary and the last remaining piece of work of the band as the duo it was established as. Jared and Jake’s final work will be available to ears worldwide on June 5th, 2020, more than two years after it was recorded, and I highly suggest you support this release.
On April 21st, 2020, Buffalo Fuzz released their lead single from the album titled “Too Young To Die”.The video for the track was filed by Altvra Company, and the band approached the video with the thematic concept that they hope sonically encapsulates the feel of the album.
Buffalo Fuzz was one of my favourite music discoveries of 2019. As mentioned over a hundred times on here, some of my favourite music genres are fuzz-rock and blues music. I love the raw honesty in blues music and I love the face-melting riffs of fuzz, which Buffalo Fuzz encapsulates so well with their music.
A great example of this is with the song “My Cosmic Love“, which is the second single from Buffalo Fuzz II and will be available for listening pleasure on April 28th, 2020.
The song opens with a bouncy riff that immediately gets you grooving, and falls into this crooning blues melody that wraps around your whole body. If you, like me, overplayed their debut album, you would be aware of how proficiently skilled Buffalo Fuzz is at getting your head bopping all the while tearing on your heartstrings with Jared Zachary‘s haunting vocals and lyrics.
This crazy nirvana-blues energy, that was mentioned previously, is something that you won’t forget when listening to the entirety of Buffalo Fuzz II. The record opens ominously with the track “The Reaper” which is a true “worship the riff” heavy fuzz rock song. It’s bold, it’s melodic and a great way to introduce the listeners to this genuine deep-south thematic of death and life. Buffalo Fuzz doesn’t hold back in terms of discussing the true turmoils of life: death, heartbreak, personal anguishes; but that’s what the blues are all about. Buffalo Fuzz just masterfully wraps these real-life experiences in gritty rock tunes.
The record closes with a 59-second gospel-inspired chant called “Reaper Reprise“. Warning the listeners that the “reaper is on the way”. Reminding us that they are only two guarantees in life: birth & death. Those are the cards that we know will be delt and it’s up to us to choose what to do in between. Just because death is always looming that does not mean we can’t find the beauty in life, which is I find what Buffalo Fuzz II tells the tale of.
Overall, it’s a very powerful album, and I, as a fan of the band, am very grateful that Jared Zachary has chosen to share this record with us. I can’t fathom how hard it must have been to go back to the studio and master these songs, but I’m very grateful he did, as this is probably one of the strongest blues albums of 2020.
Until next time Interwebs! 🕸
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