Are you a purist, wishing to be a part of the 70s rock resurgence that’s gripping those damn kids today? If so, you’re in luck. The latest Scratch Buffalo EP, Seven Minutes in Heaven, has three songs that clock in at six minutes and thirty five seconds, so one can’t help think they’re being short changed. I digress.
The first thing I noticed about the music was that it cut its teeth on staples such as The Rolling Stones. The city of Calgary, their home, is quite a distance from England, yet they are able to replicate the sound to a T. The reverb-soused guitar of Chris Naish carries well as the main instrument of melody. Throughout the mix, the guitar is able to stand out without overpowering anything. Sadly for me, I’m not a fan of the bass tone. I understand the need to keep it clean, and Scott Wildeman nails all the lines with precision, yet it falls flat in my speakers. It’s lacking a little extra oomph.
I’m curious as to why Mark Straub modeled his drum sound like he did. It has a flat tone, nearly identical to the bass, but the drums come away stronger because of it. Nearly all the treble and pop has been sucked out, however. It’s genius. *In a stage whisper* He’s not a bad drummer to boot.
All three songs are crafted well and comprised of familiar-sounding riffs. This is where it loses points for me. “Fly Alone” is their interpretation of that very famous Percy Mayfield riff and I don’t find it interesting enough to be a re-make/re-imaging/re-whatever. That’s not to say you wouldn’t, however. Another nitpick of mine is the lead guitar melody in “Back to Me.” It hit a couple of notes that weren’t wrong, they were still within the dominant scale, but it was just an odd choice. A few of the solid notes and bends made it sound like it was out of tune; especially during the last bit as the lead runs under the chords in the outro.
As for the vocals, Naish has a certain charm to his voice that captures the era exquisitely, sans accent. It’s a little rough around the edges, but that adds to it rather than detracts. All in all, it’s a good album that achieves what it set out to do. Hit me up in the comments below with your hot-take on the 70s rock revival and let me know which city has the best scene.
Written by Aaron Deck
*edited by Lia Davis