[sic] Magazine

Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo

Quite wisely, Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg opted to shorten his moniker for the stage, and, along with three equally young bandmates and his crackling falsetto that more than recalls Wayne Coyne in places, Avi Buffalo is the concise result. With Arin Fazio and Sheridan Riley rounding out the ranks, these three also include one Rebecca Coleman with whom vocals are shared, and if the stories are true, much more in the past. The eyebrow-raising lyrics to the twee “Summer Cum” would seem to confirm it: “I got lost in your summer cum / leave all your stains with me”.

Coming on sweetly like Jenny Lewis , Coleman’s country-tinged additions bathe the band’s self-titled debut in an enviable summeriness. And it’s a congruous haze, as the band call Long Beach, California home. Therefore, the waves of West Coast melody that really make the album come as little surprise. Blissful guitar solos such as those that ring out on the lengthy “Remember Last Time” add necessary character and backbone to the pleasantness, as otherwise more aimless offerings such as the fluttery “Coaxed” may have dominated.

Zahner-Isenberg’s chosen band name perhaps makes more sense as “What’s In It For?” starts to plays out amid echo-y backing vocals. With the lingering embrace of a lost Neil Young track, it suggests a depth of schooling in and admiration for his material, maybe so much so as to even extend as far back as his Buffalo Springfield days. It seems the comparisons never stop either, as the tender, indie DNA of Mercury Rev becomes apparent in the fine strands of Avi Buffalo’s make-up. This is perhaps best heard on the beautifully shuffling duet “One Last”.

Ultimately, Sub Pop know a good thing when they hear it and rightly they snapped up likeable unit-shifters The Shins when they had the chance. They say that lightening doesn’t strike twice, but it seems to have done so in their Seattle stables, electrifying both bands with similarly gorgeous melody. The label readily concede to thinking they’ve a major talent on their hands in Zahner-Isenberg, and on this form they may be right.

Advised downloads: “What’s In It For?” and “One Last”.

Avi Buffalo is out now on Sub Pop .