Buffalo Tooth – “Gardeners of the Devil’s Lettuce” (Captcha Records 2014, CD/LP)

Buffalo Tooth are the San Francisco based trio of Greg Downing on guitar and vocals, Eric Kang on bass, and Sean Grange on drums. Gardeners of the Devil’s Lettuce is their debut full length.

This is seriously high octane Psych-Thrash that’s like Acid Mothers Temple meets Motorhead with a dash of Link Wray and a dose of the 80s band X. The songs are short, typically in the 2 minute range, and pack a monster punch to the gut. Nearly every song is loaded with steroidal, tripped out and punked out guitar solos, which I love. These guys are manic but tight as a knot. They can really play. The 13 song set is barely 30 minutes long but it’ll leave you feeling like you’d just run with the bulls. What really impressed me was Buffalo Tooth’s ability to create brief, compact, blitzkrieg tunes that actually have quite a lot happening. That is, tightly wound constructions that make comfortable room for the song and rip-roaring instrumental segments and solos. On the occasions that they stretch out to 3+ minutes the songs almost become multi-themed. There’s variety too. Bank Job charges along like a hard rocking Psychobilly cheetah, before transitioning to stoned, yet amped up Black Sabbath mode. A little hed relief from the relentless onslaught. Ditto for Wet Circumstances, which rocks hard but veers into periodic Psychedelic forays. I dig the blend of 60s Surf, Psych and Punk on Smells Like Jello. And I like the spacey wigged out finale to Greenbacks. Yeah baby… Psych, Punk, Surf, Thrash, Hard Rock, Psychobilly… it’s Rock ‘n Roll!

For more information visit the Captcha Records web site at: http://www.captcha-records.com

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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