Buffalo Brothers ‘Fresh From The Horn’ (Buffalo Brothers) 4/5

buffalo-brothersBuffalo Brothers are the 9 piece heavy funk band straight out of Manchester. Already being given a strong thumbs up from funk Connoisseurs Craig Charles and Huey Morgan, their debut album ‘Fresh from the horn’ is looking to go down a storm. With a blistering combination of funk, jazz, and afrobeat, it looks like these funky buffalos are about to firmly take their place as one of THE new bands on the modern funk-jazz scene.
The album’s first release and opening track, ‘Dark Matter’ launches straight into a solid groove. As the name suggests, it has a dark quality, with flutters of jazzy dissonance, rhythmically and melodically, which contrasts well against the upbeat classic funk sound.
This is definitely an energetic funk album by nature, but ‘String Theory’ is a much more relaxed vibe, that showcases their more sophisticated, jazzy sound, with beautifully lazy horns (with something of a ‘Quantic’ nature) drifting over the soft, continuous pace of Tim Bailey (Drums), and Rachel Lasham (Percussion.) Not to mention some great solos, especially from Chris Stevens on trumpet.
‘Metric’ begins with just the four horns playing the main melody, led by Simon Reynolds on baritone sax. This has got to be my favourite track, mainly as it is jam-packed with as much swagger and funky strut that you can squeeze into three minutes, four seconds. Fact.

‘It’s been a while’ is a mid album interlude of a little over a minute, which again sees the horns take on a different character, with a much darker, slightly ‘Budos Band’ style, and a much meatier baritone sax in the harmonies. This again represents what a colourful eclectic album this is, and shows that they can deliver, with ease, the dark rhythmic quality that Afrobeat requires. This quality also becomes apparent in ‘Tycho strut’, which is the deepest they delve into afrobeat territory.

This seems to be the future of modern funk, especially in the U.K, and something I find very exciting, the more extreme blend of jazz, afrobeat and afro-cuban elements. Take modern bands such as Speedometer or The Haggis Horns, and like this album, you’ll find that the rules have changed in recent years, and a slightly more varied and complex recipe now exists for modern funk music.

I strongly recommend funk fans to discover this band. With infectious horns, gritty bass lines, screaming organ and classic drum breaks, this will cater for your every funk need.

‘Fresh from the Horn’ comes out on the 30th of October, but you can catch them before at The Blues Kitchen in London (Shoreditch) on the 23rd of October.

Lindsey Evans