Back in the earlier days of 2018, an Australian band by the name of Foot put out a record called Buffalo, and it was written by the band after spending a large amount of time in Victoria. Due to this, the record very much capitalizes on the feeling of the music more so than the sound of it, reeling in vibes of nature. Nature as a healing mechanism is the overall theme, and I’m pretty sure that that reflects how the band was feeling while spending time here. One way or another, the musical result is a stellar one.
Buffalo rides right on the cusp of desert rock and doom metal. The riffs are pretty heavy and contain the build of many a metal band, with a lot of similarities to the likes of Pallbearer. Somehow it isn’t acceptable enough for the Metal Archives so I guess that means it can’t be real metal, right? Well don’t let uptight pricks like that turn you away from this bar of gold, because the softer parts are just as vital to the make-up. “Live, Laugh, Love” breaks off into a psychedelic tangent of guitar doodles that draw images of waterfalls, before busting back into one of the heaviest riffs on the album. So you can expect this to be anything but one sided.
Another neat factor is the way the vocals always stay soft no matter how heavy the music gets. “Cactus” is constructed with a lot of strength most of the way through, but the chorus especially utilizes a lot of melody, and doesn’t burst through with a drop of anger. Foot strike me as a band with a lot of emotion, entertaining more of a “dismal” mindset rather an angry one. The thickness of the riffs overlaid with that emotion is the selling point, if nothing else. It’s always shifting around too, and relies on the bass to carry the rhythm a lot, which is always a plus. The instrumental title track’s calmness flowing into the unsettling intro to “Sweet Stuff” is another one of my favorite moments, serving as a fine example of the band keeping you on your toes.
Those who seek a bass-heavy doom metal album with monster sized riffs topped by calm vocals and trickles of desert rock will absolutely love this. How Foot got swept under the radar this year is beyond me. You’d think with such a unique, albeit simple band name like that, it would draw in lots of attention. Buffalo came out on January 12, 2018, and you can stream the whole album on YouTube and buy it digitally from their Bandcamp page. Unfortunately, I could not find physical copies.