The White Buffalo "Once Upon a Time in the West" Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 10:29:50
"I wish I was an outlaw," snarls The White Buffalo on "The Pilot" from his debut album, Once Upon a Time in the West.
Like John Wayne rolling into a dusty town ready to kick ass, The White Buffalo is about to blast through the modern indie scene with a whirlwind of brilliant stories, exceptional playing, and true grit.
Once Upon a Time in the West is a timeless collection of thirteen songs about love, life, loss, addiction, rage, and redemption. However, none of those emotions ever overpowers the journey itself or diminishes the divine experience of listening to the album itself. In a lesser singer-songwriter's hands, such themes may twist and wind all over the place. The White Buffalo's ultimate road remains clear. He's on a path to the pantheon alongside Bob Dylan and Hank Williams, Jr.
Opening song "Ballad of a Dead Man" rises from a haze of acoustic strumming and slide guitar as the singer's gravelly voice relays a slow and somber tale. It's heart-wrenching and hypnotic to hear him intone, "Our boys are dead. We've been misled." From the ashes of that elegy, the upbeat twang-y "How the West Was Won" storms right out of Nashville with a big middle finger as The White Buffalo proclaims, "I'm a fuckup girl. It's how I live my life. I wish I knew how to treat you right." Over a sunny stomp, he asks, "Shall end it all?" He manages to tackle truly tough subject with infectious hooks and a knack for southern fried melodies. The aforementioned "Pilot" keeps the energy high as some dazzling acoustics entwine with spacey leads. "One Lone Night" practically drowns in whisky before The White Buffalo elevates it with another heavenly refrain.
The record's centerpiece is single, "I Wish It Was True." It's a ballad that's as mournful as it is magnificent. It's so vivid you can practically inhale the cigarette smoke and taste the blood surrounding its story. Everything culminates on the gorgeously gritty "I Am the Light"—one last gasp in this ride.
He's going to win a lot more than the West over. Meet the outlaw the world needed…
Will you be picking up The White Buffalo's Once Upon a Time in the West on Tuesday February 28, 2012?