Lord Buffalo — Tohu Wa Bohu (Album Review)

There’s some cheek to Lord Buffalo’s “About” page, a place where they alternately refer to themselves as “leguminous drone-porn,” “forêt noir,” “crappalachian butt rock” and “mud folk.” The throughline for all these being that they’re all vaguely of the earth, loamy and natural, base element-y. In truth, though, those descriptions undersell what Lord Buffalo feels like.

Tohu Wa Bohu, the second album from the Austin, Texas four-piece musically captures a gauzy between-space. Featuring members Daniel Jesse Pruitt (vocals, guitar), Garrett Hellman (guitar, organs), Patrick Patterson (violin) and Yamal Said (percussion), what Lord Buffalo creates are sonic mysteries, the heat shimmers on salt plains, elf circles around the forest trees, blood falls in glaciers…

It’s a supernatural, otherworldly sonic experience that sets the stage for Pruitt’s tales of snakecharm and Old Testament mysticism. In this it’s no accident that Lord Buffalo get cited among the likes of fellow travelers Sixteen Horsepower and Swans.

Edgy, post-apocalyptic blues number “Halle Berry” is probably the “hit” here. With its jagged guitarwork it recalls a Nick Cave spiritual which has been stripped of any notion of fan service. Best though is probably the title track, a chanting, thumping, deliberate sprawl designed specifically to pierce the veil. Whether the listener can actually reach that place is unknowable. But only repeat listens will help the find that out.

Tohu Wa Bohu trailer

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