Ghost Buffalo

Ghost Buffalo

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To a certain extent, the Handsome Family, Violent Femmes, and Nick Cave have all wandered in the direction that Denver-based quintet Ghost Buffalo takes on their debut album, but these guys go all the way with it: Ghost Buffalo is, fundamentally, a blending of goth rock and alt-country. There's a definite twang both in the guitars and in Marie Litton's vocals, but the overall mood of this album is brooding and dark, with prominent bass and echoey reverb predominating. Overall, the combination works, although that's primarily due to the appeal of Litton's delicate, yearning vocals and the three-guitar attack of Litton, Matt Bellinger, and Josh Coyle, which veers between Crazy Horse-style walls of feedback and gentler sounds. The songs themselves tend to blur into one another across the course of the album, with a preponderance of samey ballads; on their own merits, it's hard to fault songs as spookily engrossing as "Hell Here" and "Bones," but too many of them sound simply too much alike.

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