All these years later, it's hard to blame anyone for calling Buffalo Tom "Dinosaur Jr." after their self-titled debut album was released; even if J Mascis hadn't produced the sessions (and played lead guitar on one track), the band's approach at this point -- big sludgy neo-grunge guitar mauling, with a busy rhythm section bashing away behind it all trying to keep up -- was similar enough to what Mascis and company were serving up at the time that comparison was inevitable. But from the jump, it was obvious that Bill Janovitz was a stronger and more emphatic vocalist than Mascis ever was, and if he still had a lot to learn as a songwriter, "Sunflower Suit" and "Impossible" offered evidence that Janovitz had a knack for crafting hooky melodies that were clearly visible under the sheets of noisy guitar (which he could mangle nearly as well as Mascis himself). Some bands offer up everything they have on their first album, and some bands just get started; Buffalo Tom indicates that this band was clearly in the latter category, but if they had a way to go in the originality sweepstakes, there was no arguing they had plenty of talent and potential.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming