Buffalo Tom - Bones
While Buffalo Tom's free offering of this EP is a sign of their generosity in anticipation of their upcoming tour and full-length, that doesn't mean that they are necessarily in great moods. The four songs on "Bones" are melancholy, and occasionally framed by in-studio banner that doesn't so much enhance intimacy as imply that it might have been hard acquiring it.
Anyone BT fan knows that Bill Janovitz has been recording weekly covers on his website (billjanovitz.blogspot.com), and offering them for free download, effortlessly creating one of the most valuable spontaneous uses of blogs ever. Here he seems as restrained as some of his private covers are emotionally raw. The best track is the first, an acoustic version of "Arise, Watch," from the forthcoming "Skins." "C.C. Callas" is the kind of place-keeper that most non-Janowitz songs have on Buffalo Tom records. "Treehouse" occasionally arouses Janovitz into a display of the off-the-cuff honesty that have made him the treasure he is, though not consistently. The closer, a cover of New Order's "Age of Consent," which is ok, but lacking in comparison with some of the Replacements and Beatles covers on Janovitz's site."Bones" is a cool treat, a free peek at new work by a beloved band. It isn't among Buffalo Tom's best, nor does it really give you a hint as to what has made them so beloved. Still, a couple good songs, a new full-length, and a what is likely to be great tour more than make up for any picky criticisms.
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