"Buffalo Sex Change"
The cover to Buffalo Sex Change's debut full-length does a good job framing the vibe for the album. It's a black and white photo; two guys, black leather jackets, sunglasses, and a motorcycle, set against a brick wall with some heavy shadows. It's the kind of cover you would dig out of a thick stack of garage sale vinyl gems — if the collector was into early-70's lo-fi garage rock. The self-titled album's 12 tracks hold the idea up. Buffalo Sex Change, a Rochester-based drum-and-guitar duo, have crafted a solid album that puts a fresh spin on the gritty rock 'n' roll coming out of the time of The Stooges. With lots of reverb, pounding drums, and low tones, Buffalo Sex Change takes garage rock out of its comfort zone by blending in some post-punk and surf rock — though here it sounds like surfing a dark wave while wielding a knife. Occasionally the album's raw, lo-fi nature can come across muddled, but there's a lot of apparent immediacy to this album. From "Gender Unknown" — the album's first track that makes me wonder what Iggy Pop could have done with some surf licks — to the more confrontational "Caroline," and the contemplatively dark "Holy Ghost Fire," Phil Pierce (guitar, vocals, and bass) and Clayton Eddy (drums, vocals, and bass) came out strong and swinging with "Buffalo Sex Change."