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Album Review - 'Dutch Buffalo' by Race The Flux

Updated on June 23, 2013

Race The Flux are one of the most exciting rock bands to generate from the West of Ireland in quite some time, after touring and writing consistently for the past number of years, they have finally released their debut album ‘Dutch Buffalo’ an eight track mini masterpiece that will sure to appease rock fans from all sub genres.

Why is ‘Dutch Buffalo’ a masterpiece? Because it achieves to do what so many rock albums desire to do, it achieves to reach out to all aspects of music, it is un-repetitive in content, it is crammed full of creativity, it gives a nod to their inspirations and heroes whilst managing to carve out their own unique sound, it blends hard rocking riffs with funky electro synthesizers without drowning in a sea of musical madness. They have taken bolder steps in pushing the boundaries of Rock, not only do they blend these elements together, they do so with such panache and talent that oozes from each track…there is supreme confidence and boldness throughout this album.

‘Evolve?’ begins the proceedings, making use of every sound at their disposal to create a somber thought provoking track that sounds like it comes from another dimension, pleasant on the ear yet warning the listener of the cacophony of rock to come.

‘I am Animation’ begins this cacophony with vocals that transcends into a primal scream, which is then followed by a dreamy piano riff accompanied by a grinding crunching guitar lick and moody synthesizers before crashing into an old school metal riff that any Metallica fan would gladly slam dance to, the track builds in layers, cultivating in operatic vocals from lead singer Joe Padfield before ending with a harmonic mantric chant, ‘Evolve?’ is the band marking their musical territory and unique sound. This track solidifies their message loud and clear…’We are Race the Flux’

‘Eleven’ Begins with pounding drums from Drummer Ronan Connaughton blended with a resounding powerful bass line from bassist Enda Stritch, heading into an alien-esque journey of synthesizers before settling into a high octane rock song where Joe once again show’s his vocal prowess, his never ending voice soaring high above the music.

‘Julian’ is a catchy synth-rock song that changes pace and tempo at vital moments throughout, the synthesizers are something straight out of a daft punk catalogue that’s consistent throughout the first half of the song. The song then completely begins to rock at the midway point, building, finishing stronger than it begins. The track shows a deeper side to their music, with a chorus so melodic, catchy and thought provoking you’ll find yourself freely humming it as you go about your daily routine.

‘Can I?’ is the bands most powerful rock song, blasting off with a dirty funky guitar riff, before the whole band come together in unison and drive the song forward with spine tingling clarity and purpose, accompanying lyrics that cry from the soul, before a guitar battle begins between Joe Padfield and Paul Higgins, leading into a guitar solo that screams from the rafters before ending with a climatic bang. ‘Can I?’ is definitely the band’s signature piece on the album, and will no doubt become a crowd favourite at gigs and festivals in years to come.

‘Icarus’ portrays the bands more experimental side, and is packed full of surprises, it begins with what sounds like an alien they invited into the studio to provide vocals, gently flowing their way through each verse with high melodic drifting guitars before the chorus suddenly takes you by surprise, with biting powerful lyrics that then transcends into a dirty hard metal riff that awakens you from the daydream. ‘Icarus’ is perhaps slightly weaker that their other material, however it is a sold resounding track nonetheless.

‘Siren’ showcases the bands harmonic vocal talents, with the music taking a back seat to highlight the lyrics which take on a more poetic stance, it is the bands most poetic song on the album, rich with metaphors, highlighting passion, pain and lust, before diving into a hair raising, ear shattering funky finish.

To finish the album the band keep the listener on their toes with ‘Resolve’…it begins with circus-esque style vocals that sound like they come straight of an Italian b – movie horror from the nineteen seventies, before crashing into an orgy of synthesizers, pounding drums and mantric chanting that is similar to tracks by The Chemical Brothers. The album ends with celebration, where the first track evolves the bands sound, the last track most definitely resolves, a clever title to a fitting end to the album.

Race the Flux’s musical ability seem to have no limits and is in full flow on this album, Paul Higgins wizardry on his synthesizers and guitars add extra dimensions to their music, Enda Strichs powerful bass playing drives the album, it’s melodic brutality and force enriches each track, Ronan Connaughton shows why he is one of the best drummers in Ireland, with drum progressions so mind boggling a lot of drummers would need a third arm to play them and Joe Padfield on Guitar and lead vocals is a born lead singer, his voice is naturally operatic and his guitar playing can rival that of any other guitarist in the country.

‘Dutch Buffalo’ has catapulted them to a stage shared by the likes of Red Neck Manifesto and ‘And So I Watch You From Afar’, even further when you take into consideration that five of the eight tracks on the album contain lush thought provoking lyrics, it’s what separates them from the rest of the bands in their genre…And will leave their competitors lagging behind as Race The Flux and ‘Dutch Buffalo’ continue to grow in popularity.

Head on over to racetheflux.bandcamp.com where you can listen to the album online and download it for a reasonable fee. You’ll be in for a musical treat. Just click on the link below.

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