King Buffalo is the trio of vocalist/guitarist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds, and drummer Scott Donaldson. Since forming in 2013, the self-proclaimed "heavy psych" band has made its name via 4 Full-lengths, 4EPs, and tours with Clutch, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, All Them Witches, The Sword, and Elder.
Written and recorded by the band with mixing and engineering by Sean McVay and mastering by Bernie Matthews, the seven-song outing is the third in King Buffalo’s stated ‘pandemic trilogy,’ following Two of 2021’s Best Albums in The Burden of Restlessness and Acheron.
Both of those albums – like 2018’s Longing to Be the Mountain, 2016’s debut, Orion, and the various EPs and other offerings they’ve made over the last eight years – made bold declarations about who King Buffalo are as a band, and Regenerator is no different. As McVay, Reynolds and Donaldson continue to explore the outer reaches of modern psychedelic songcraft, melding progressive rhythms, drifting atmospheres and accompanying surges of electricity, the new collection only further establishes them as one of the brightest lights shining in underground rock today.
As the third of three, Regenerator seems inherently to tie together the two LPs most immediately before it, and as King Buffalo unfold the leadoff title-track across nine and half minutes, it becomes clear just how truly they have marked out their own sonic presence. The later melodic highlight “Mammoth” – with McVay’s most confident vocal yet – shimmers with hope that somehow doesn’t come across as desperate, and as “Hours” engages classic space rock and the closing “Firmament” summarizes the first, second and third series installments, the final chapter of this trilogy becomes the essential cornerstone of King Buffalo’s work to-date.
The band returned to live activity late last year, touring alongside Clutch and more recently a full North American spring tour with Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. By the time Regenerator arrives, they will have completed a UK and European headlining tour with festival appearances in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium and Denmark.
REZN’s fourth monolithic full length 'Solace' is available now.
The seed for the band’s megaton riffs and psychedelic journeys was planted when guitarist Rob McWilliams and bassist Phil Cangelosi began jamming together at age twelve in the DC commuter town of Leesburg, VA. They relocated to Chicago in 2015, recruited local sound engineer Patrick Dunn on the drums, and invited their friend Spencer Ouellette into the studio to round out their bottom-heavy sound with the hum-and-squall of modular synth.
Their 2020 offering Chaotic Divine showcased their use of gargantuan heaviness and lysergic calm, as well as the band’s penchant for tying the music to a new visual landscape, as they did with Let It Burn and Calm Black Water. It was at this moment that their use of saxophone was more than just a cameo, letting the instrument’s richness shine confidently in the spotlight throughout the record.
With Solace, REZN once again blurs the boundaries of their psych and doom labels by exploring more delicate and introspective emotions in the lyrics and instrumentation, using the feeling of empty space to build into towering moments of maximalist density. “This was the first time we were able to immerse ourselves 24/7 in the studio,” says guitarist and vocalist Rob McWilliams. “We wanted it to push us into new territories musically, but also transform the record into something much bigger than what we initially envisioned.”
Date & Time
Wed, Jan 17, 2024 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM