Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Guilty Girls” by Buffalo Tom from the 2011 album Skins on Scrawny Records.
Boston band Buffalo Tom got their start when J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. helped produce their self-titled debut album in 1989, to which he also contributed some guitar work. After initially drawing comparisons to Dinosaur Jr., the trio continued to tinker with their sound and release albums throughout the majority of the 90s, but were never able to break through and achieve the kind of success fans thought they deserved. After 1998’s Smitten, the band took an extended hiatus that ended with a reunion at SXSW in 2007, as well as their first album in nine years in Three Easy Pieces. Four years later, Buffalo Tom are back with Skins, their 8th studio album and first on their new record label, Scrawny Records.
The 2011 version of Buffalo Tom sounds exactly like you’d expect an early-90s, Dinosaur Jr.-esque band to sound 20 years later. The aren’t trying to chart unfamiliar waters, instead relying on the tried-and-true rock and pop hooks that were the reason they were good in the first place, only with more mature themes. Today’s featured song “Guilty Girls” is one of the more upbeat and driving numbers on Skins. Some concerted drumming, an electric guitar lick here and there, and inspiring lyrics calling to “forget about the guilty girls” all make up a song that is so familiar, effortless, and effective that it’s almost comforting to hear.
And yes, Buffalo Tom are touring in support of Skins. Their schedule is somewhat limited, but fortunately for Seattle it includes a stop at Chop Suey on May 20. They will also be live on KEXP that day. Stay tuned for details. For more tour info, click here. While we’re waiting for them to come to town, here’s the deliciously 90s video for their 1992 hit “Taillights Fade”: