I love Columbia Buffet and their EP “Sugar” is a damn fine listen. This is sophisticated guitar music for those of us who understand the relevance and power of R.E.M., The Replacements, Lemonheads, Sunny Day Real Estate and Husker Du. The brilliant thing about “Sugar” is the way the band showcases a healthy understanding of Punk Rock but instead of attack they favour pop skills in terms of communicating their rather emotional songs.
I can’t help be swept up in these songs the way I am with one of my favourite bands Sunny Day Real Estate who helped pioneer this brand of emotional guitar rock music. The uneducated would label it pop-punk but that doesn’t serve the sound because yes there is punk rock attached to it along with wonderful slabs of infectious pop music but it isn’t as direct and clean as what most mainstream audiences would label as pop-punk. This is pop-punk in the Husker Du tradition where traditional hardcore meets world-class songwriting and Brisbane has a long tradition of producing bands who deal this kind of sound.
I also had the pleasure of having the band send me some new songs due for release very soon and they take the template of what’s on display on the “Sugar “ EP and evolve it to both darker and more expansive levels without losing that pop edge. Both collections of songs mean a lot to the people playing them and as is the case with sophisticated guitar music that passion is infectious as a listener. These songs give me the same feeling of calm that “Summer” by Buffalo Tom does and I yearn for this kind of rock music.
A band like Columbia Buffet has the potential to be underground heroes but they also have the kind of quality songwriting that may see them crossover to more mainstream audiences. Either outcome is a positive one because they are a band who mean what they sing and that’s all I care about regardless of what level they rise to.
8 Cassette Tapes out of 10
By: Dan Newton
Listen to the “Sugar” EP on the following link