Review: King Buffalo ‘The Burden Of Restlessness’

The Burden Of Restlessness is the first of three albums to be released by the one and only King Buffalo this year. There isn’t a bad song on it! That’s all. That’s my review, it’s short and sweet because it’s been too long between listens and I NEED to play the album from the top again. OK, I guess I have to talk more about this amazing piece of musial art which releases June 4th, 2021 via Stickman Records and it can’t come soon enough.

King Buffalo 'The Burden Of Restlessness'

In case it’s not obvious, I’ve pre-ordered this album already and the artwork by Zdzisław Beksiński is incredible. I can’t wait to see it on the large vinyl jacket! On top of that, putting the wax onto the turntable, placing the needle down, hearing the pops knowing that the speakers will soon have the initial notes spilling out. It becomes an experience and almost an addiction.

The trio of Sean McVay (vocalist/guitarist), Dan Reynolds (bass) and Scott Donaldson (drums) have once again created a masterpiece. The opening droning airy sounds of the song Burning immediately launch into chugging guitar and bass, thundering drums and sharp yet melodic notes. It’s a perfect mix of tones that get you amped up for what’s to come. I remember listening to it for the first time in the car actually, I turned to my wife as it started and just nodded my head in approval and she said yeah this is going to be great!

The riff in Hebetation has the perfect break up in distortion I actively seek out myself. The perfect rhythm laid down by Dan and Scott have a very positive energy, despite the dark lyrical theme. It’s a hard hitting song throughout both musically and lyrically in different ways and will carry you through until a sudden stop at the end.

Locusts starts with that perfectly timed delay that made me first love King Buffalo. It builds nicely throughout the song and has a fantastic climax in the form of a high pitched melodic solo. The final note rings out leading back into the heavy riff to close out the song with enough energy to push you right into the next track.

The trio of Sean McVay, Dan Reynolds and Scott Donaldson have once again created a masterpiece…

Silverfish starts off with a slower and calm, almost happy vibe. Until the 2:09 mark where the greatest change happens. Everything stops, except for the dirtiest muddiest sounding guitar, very similar to the two minute mark in Swallowed by the Sea by All Them Witches. It’s a game changer and something I had to repeat multiple times to really let it soak in. The song keeps the same rhythm as the beginning just heavier, capturing the energy from the previous song Locusts.

After the spacey outro of Silverfish comes what is currently my favorite on the album. Grifter combines clean riffs with a steady soft rhythm and weaves you through highly distorted chugging guitars. I personally love the quick triplet riffs (for lack of a better term) that are peppered throughout King Buffalo’s discography. It’s reminiscent of The Screen by Yob.

I know I typically talk about how the guitar tones sound and how the riffs are, because that’s generally where my ear goes as I’m trying to learn some of this myself. The knocks on the other hand really showcases Dan and Scott. The opening is a fantastic beat laid down by Scott and Dan comes in on the bass ever so smoothly, locking in with Scott’s drums. As Sean sings a haunting melody over the top, you get a much better perspective of what this album is all about.

Loam is the final piece of this outstanding album and I always comment on strong closing songs. This is no exception and fills that role with ease. The song builds to conclusion and fills the room with fantastic music that you don’t want to end. And just like that it stops as if to say to be continued…

King Buffalo deliver on The Burden Of Restlessness as it’s a fantastic standalone album, but with being part one of a trilogy, I feel it’s also a precursor, laying down the groundwork for more of this mind blowing experience that’s hopefully to come.

Label: Stickman Records
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Scribed by: Josh Schneider