Can one put together stoner rock, hyperactive punk, thrash and metal and still make it make sense? According to Buffalo Tooth, yes. Their debut full-length, “Gardeners of the Devil’s Lettuce,” hits us with one guitar assault after another. This band is not kidding around, with thirteen tracks of stoney thrash, there is hardly a moment’s rest. From the hard driving blues based riffage of “Little Girl,” to the fingerboard tapping dual guitar freak-out of “Sex Priest,” Buffalo Tooth has all the bases covered.
One minute the vocals can sound like Danzig, the next they might have just a shade of Jello Biafra in them; the same can be said of the transformation of the guitar styles emerging across the album – one minute slow and heavy, the next fast and clean. Also, let me just state for the record how nice it is to listen to an album that isn’t afraid to just throw in some guitar solos. The influence of Black Sabbath does factor in here, but in perhaps equal measure with some harder edged punk and metal. More than a hint of Bad Brains can be detected without question, but listening close I’m also picking up on some early Metallica, for example a little taste of “Master of Puppets” toward the close of “Street Poo.” Then there is some East Bay Ray style guitar tone and technique on the punk-rock boogie of “Laced Up.” Appropriately, the vocals reach maximum Jello Biafra delivery here. Finally, on the closing track “Greenbacks” we get some riffs that sound like early Nirvana that get thrown into a blender, sending the entire song into a speed metal tailspin before closing out the entire album with riotous noise and incessant aggressive drumming. If you love everything that Ty Segall has done, especially with his band Fuzz, then you are going to love this album.
Lyrically things don’t tend to get too serious here, as if you couldn’t tell from the song titles “Sex Priest,” “Street Poo,” “Smells Like Jello,” and “Street Polygamy.” Speaking specifically to this end are the lyrics to “Snacktology,” wherein we hear how much the singer loves snacks: “I love, I love snacks. I’ve got the munchies man, all I wanna do is eat some snacks.” What could be more stoney than that? Not much.
“Gardeners of the Devil’s Lettuce” is out now on Captcha Records on 160g black and white splatter vinyl, and you can choose to add a 24″×36″ “How to Tour Tijuana” poster to that. You can check out all that stuff on Buffalo Tooth’s bandcamp page.