Music Reviews

Buffalo Tom

Besides

Beggars Banquet

Revered by some, Buffalo Tom never achieved the general recognition they so deserved. A shame, really, because they were easily one of the finest bands of the previous decade, representing a uniqueness and emotional honesty that’s rare to witness. And while everything indicates we will have to wait long before we get anything new from them – if at all – this collection of B-sides, a companion piece to the previous Asides From…, is comfortable reinsurance that, at the very least, we were right all along.

Buffalo Tom proved that it was possible to carve out a niche all of their own in the pop-rock climate of the 1990s, and solid evidence of this can be found here. Where many bands fill their B-sides up with half-assed remixes and tedious throwaways, the prolific Buffalo Tom spent theirs experimenting and exploring their range and limitations. Much of the material here differs in sound and manner from what wound up on their studio albums, but that doesn’t mean that this is lesser material. In fact, Buffalo Tom’s B-sides are far better than most bands’ entire back catalogues.

Apart from the stunning “Anchors Aweigh” – one of their finest performances ever! – and a cover version of Teenage Fanclub’s “Guiding Star,” every song on here has been previously released, then. But it is both tricky and expensive to find all those original singles, and this collection is undoubtedly a valid one and a fine addition to the already remarkable Buffalo Tom discography. The band approves of the release as well, and contributes excellent liner notes and a witty and enlightening track-by-track guide.

So, a lavish package filled with some of the most moving and exciting rock and Americana of later years. If you are already familiar with them, you will surely be on your way to the record store already. If you don’t, this is – believe it or not – as good a place to start as any. You’re so lucky to have yet to discover this!

Beggars Banquet: http://www.beggars.com


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