A Rare Loud Rock Show Coming Up at the Lincoln Center Atrium
Has a heavy psychedelic rock band ever played Lincoln Center? Believe it or not, a few punk acts have played there over the years. There was a rare concert by a reconfigured version of legendary 70s Detroit band Death there in 2010, Six years later, Hoba Hoba Spirit – the Moroccan Clash – raised the roof at the atrium space on Broadway south of 63rd St. That’s where heavy spacerock trio King Buffalo are playing on March 30 at 7:30 PM. It’s a free show; you might want to get there early.
Their new album Regenerator is streaming at Bandcamp. Whether motoring along at a fast autobahn clip or with a slow, heavier sway, they like hanging on a single chord to build hypnotic ambience that can go on for minutes on end. They open the record with the title epic, a galloping mashup of shiny 80s chorus-box spacerock, krautrock and maybe Budos Band. You don’t realize it’s a one-chord jam until frontman/guitarist Sean McVay kicks off his wah pedal and brings in the fuzz.
Bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson fuel a hypnotic, circling forward drive in the second track, Mercury, a heavier take on mid-80s Talking Heads until McVay blasts in with the distortion. The trio go back to stomping spacerock with track three, Hours, a throwback to 90s Brian Jonestown Massacre until a wry portamento synth-and-bass interlude midway through.
They nick a famous Beatles theme for the drony, raga-like intro to Mammoth, a slow, swaying, echoey ba-bump groove that they suddenly take halfspeed to a gritty roar and a big majestic outro. They follow a slow, bouncy, Muse-ish sway for Avalon – a starry, drifting, unexpectedly crescendoing original, not the Roxy Music classic.
They wind up the record with Firmament, slowly rising from a circling, chiming loop to layers of distortion, wah and Donaldson’s oscillating, insectile synth.