Avi Buffalo – At Best Cuckold

Avi Zahner-Isenberg’s band Avi Buffalo started their career in the worst possible way – on a high. With their 2010 single What’s In It For, written by the then teenage Zahner-Isenberg, they had a cast iron classic song on their hands, arguably one of the best of the last decade.

A precocious talent had emerged but their self titled album the same year felt like a let down in comparison, including but overshadowed by What’s In It For . Over the years it became a one track album, with the rest of the album barely played since.


It’s taken a few years to find their feet again on disc and with At Best Cuckold, the band’s second album on Sub Pop, they have found an album that finally matches their earlier promise.

The twinkling, breezy Californian guitar pop of 2010 remains, as does Zahner-Isenberg’s Neil Young-esque falsetto. But here in 2014 there is a sharper focus on production, with horns and lots of melody throughout the album, not just focused on one track. As well as opener So What the album is packed full of potential singles.

Overwhelmed with Pride has a wonderful 1960s pop feel to it with the trumpets carrying the melody and Cant’ Be Too Responsible even has echoes of America’s greatest pop band The Monkees. Another highlight is She is Seventeen, which takes the tempo down to create a fine piano ballad to show that Zahner-Isenberg is more than just a kid with a guitar.

Granted there’s a couple of unnecessary rock guitar moments,  such as on Found Blind, but they aren’t conspicuous enough to distract from what is a mature and consistently good album.


by Joe Lepper


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