Avi Buffalo's singer songwriter Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg seems unable to write songs without including dangerous hints of melody and hooks so big they should be hanging in the local butcher. This reviewer fell in love with the heartwarming summer fun of the bands debut four long years ago and has been checking on progress for a new record ever since. Finally it has arrived and whilst the innocence has partly dissipated the skills of the band have increased exponentially and Avi's songwriting skills have developed accompanied by a sublime pop vision.
"At Best Cuckold" is a more subdued and autumnal than the previous outing but the songs are things of beauty. Granted it is an "economical" listen at 35 minutes yet no space is wasted. There are some songs here which suggest that Avi Buffalo as a band could be the logical heirs to Belle and Sebastian once the lovable Scots decide to hang up their boots. Thus the sparkling flowing melodies of "Can't be too responsible" would surely get the seal of approval from Stuart Murdoch. Equally "Memories of You" has that pop sensibility that Elliot Smith managed to appropriate to great effect. Any song like "Oxygen Tank" that starts with the lyric "that a man carrying an Oxygen tank/ is going to come to kill me and family too/if i don't stop seeing you" deserves all the plaudits that can be heaped upon it. In addition the wistful piano of "She is Seventeen" makes you curse your accumulating years and wistfully hark bark to better times. Finally while "Overwhelmed with Pride" does start off by sounding like a Noel Gallagher song it soon gets over this stigma and builds into a rare gem.
It is regrettably the case that this album will probably be on E Bay selling for 50p within weeks. If so we ought to reflect on the world injustices and the sheer unfairness of life. Alternatively you could avert this negative outcome, seek it out post haste, recline on the September grass and savour 30 minute's plus of sheer unadulterated pleasure. "At Best Cuckold" is well worth a punt.
Review by Red on Black