Review Summary: Modern band making old fashioned hard rock.Tears Of The Enchanted Mainframe
is an album that regresses back to the bare essentials of old fashioned hard rock, formulating a riff-driven style that primarily focuses on melodious grooves, while occasionally diverting into an intense onslaught of sound. Buffalocomotive emanate a rather familiar machismo-fueled attitude in their music, which is quite typical for a hard rock album, but when that kind of demeanor is combined with fuzzed-out guitar antics and mild stoner tendencies, it tends to bring one person to mind- a certain musician who proudly hails from the desert lands of California. At first glance, Buffalocomotive can easily be passed off as a Josh Homme tribute band, minus the drug-induced atmospheres and sexually-charged lyrics. Even the band's lead vocalist, Brahm Taylor, often sounds as if he's doing a Josh Homme impression throughout the entire album. Though as derivative as Buffalocomotive's music may sound, they manage to take the characteristics of their influences and mold it in their own fashion, adding enough of their own vitality and wit to really captivate an audience.
The album opener, "Mutha Urth", demonstrates a slowed down, yet magnified groove that is entirely driven by bludgeoning riffs that are heavily distorted to produce a thick, yet abrasive sound. Though the music itself is indeed heavy and mildly aggressive, there is a strong emphasis on melody being deployed here, and it's primarily contrived from Brahm Taylor's singing style. His voice is very dominant and emphatic in its expression, even managing to appear so in an almost effortless fashion. A song like "Often The Orphan" really shows off his ability to confidently alternate his deliveries from a masculine falsetto, to a lower baritone range so as to thematically compliment whatever direction the music takes him. It's a very impressive feat to accomplish, no doubt about it, but it's yet another aspect in Buffalocomotive's music that is painfully reminiscent to Josh Homme's own signature persona. In fact, two of the album's highlights, "Into The Desert" and "Superusurper", though they cannot really be pointed down to just one album by Queens Of The Stone Age or Them Crooked Vulture's debut, they share this conspicuous aesthetic about them that just immediately brings those bands to mind. From referencing the mystical aura of the desert spirit, to over-indulging in fuzzy distortion and retro, psychedelic-tinged effects, it eventually comes to a point where you'll undoubtably be overwhelmed with a sense of déja vu.
In today's music scene, where individuality and innovation has become a rare quality among artists, we'll often find bands that emulate the traits of their influences getting mercilessly criticized. Even if some great music manages to flourish out of those inspirations, the lack of ingenuity becomes a major diversion for any potential enthusiast. Though to let something so facile discourage any intrigue, only denies you from experiencing something that may in fact be worthwhile. There is virtually nothing organic here about any of the clever schemes deployed in this album, but where Buffalocomotive lack in invention, they more than compensate for within their displays of energy and dexterity. Songs like "Often the Orphan" and "Mint Green" coalesce heavy bombastic riffs with a euphonic compositional flow that really helps augment the impact of their executions in a manner that is positively enthralling. Tears Of The Enchanted Mainframe
is a very formidable hard rock effort that is tenaciously faithful to the genre's signature flaunts, but it does occasionally steer away from that concept to explore other styles, such as the bluesy acoustic number, "Scratch Out The Sun". I highly recommend this album to anyone looking for a quality and straightforward hard rock album, because that's all you're going to find here. It may not be anything unique, but at least the music is proficient and orchestrated in an impactive fashion that fully entertains until the final second.