Look, I get it: the last thing we need right now is yet another band who can be described as “sun-baked,” “reverb-soaked,” or even just “psychedelic.” But Avi Buffalo (I know! An animal name to boot!) are worth your attention for a few reasons.
First, though the Long Beach band’s sound may not be the most original going, Avi Buffalo pull it off with polish, not sacrificing quality production or songwriting for the sake of a vibe. “What’s in It For?” is just as catchy as anything on, say, the new Band of Horses album. Second, they’re young, and their lack of cynicism is refreshing. And third (and tied to that second point), the band — and more specifically, singer/guitarist Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg (Avi, for short) — have ambitions beyond the world of bedroom indie pop, as the second half of Avi Buffalo attests. “Can’t I Know” is their take on Steely Dan; “Remember the Last Time” shows off Avi’s guitar heroics with a two-minute shredding solo.
The bad news is that as long as more and more of these kids who grew up on the Shins, My Morning Jacket, and Wilco form bands, we’ll be inundated with albums that sound like this. But at least Avi Buffalo have a head start on the pack.