As a man who flirts with the idea of success via artistry I find myself looking to others who have made both small and large measures of success for themselves. But these days what is success? Is it playing a show to a crowd of thousands? Is it getting signed by a major label? Or is it something like having your songs featured on popular television shows like “Jersey Shore,” “Friendzone” and “Snookie & JWoww” like Atlanta rock band Goodnight Buffalo have done in the past.
I’m still unsure of the answer to any of these proposed questions though if I may muster a guess it’s because of a little good luck and a lot of hard work. The last part being the most relevant part of the answer. The hard work translates into craftsmanship and putting a ton more time and effort into the writing and recording process.
In the case of Goodnight Buffalo, whose latest seven-song EP Internal Politics has recently been released on Carry On Mentality Records, it’s pretty clear that the band writes songs that lend themselves a certain flavor that is palpable to a mass audience. Their straightforward casual rock sound is pretty easy on the ears, much like their forebears and fellow Georgians R.E.M. whom Goodnight Buffalo cite as an influence, though I would hasten to compare their overall sound and output as similar in any way.
Goodnight Buffalo traverse the terrain of nineties alternative rock, which is at times full of hopeful melodies built by escalating guitar and drum builds which burst into versus which drop little hints of plot points that will later be reiterated by heated choruses backed by spiraling guitar solos, such as the opener “All Out.” Goodnight Buffalo also knows how to employ the upbeat rock ballad such as they do on “Seashores” a song which seems fit to play in the background of a television show in which two star crossed lovers finally come together and kiss each other aggressively in a down pouring of rain. End scene. Later “Two waves” another crowd pleaser, with its slow and jingly guitars, hints of organ and Brian Kahl’s vocal grit could serve scenes during which these two aforementioned lovers are being kept apart, which could also be said of the slow, sad piano ballad “Evelyn.”
To close I’ll be completely honest. I have a soft spot in my heart for a few Gin Blossoms songs but other than that I really didn’t listen to much of that era’s alternative college rock, or whatever anyone else called it at the time – sweater rock comes to mind. However judging by Goodnight Buffalo’s most recent effort from a critic’s perspective, leaving out any disdain I may have for their genre, I can honestly say that Internal Politics is a solid record. There are hits here. Mainly every song has the ability to work its way into a few frames of television. It may be a bit formulaic at times, but it works, and in the end that is the real key to making strides towards success.
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