Entertainment Magazine

Young Buffalo’s Young Von Prettylips [8.6]

Posted on the 16 August 2011 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie

youngbuffaloalbumcover YOUNG BUFFALOS YOUNG VON PRETTYLIPS [8.6]

Only We Can Keep You From Harm – Young Buffalo

African drum styles, polyrhythms, banging percussion and very complex multi-member harmonies are the characteristics that truly make me stop and listen when I’m searching for new music. With these standards in mind, Young Von Prettylips, the new EP by multi-instrumentalist group Young Buffalo (@youngbuffalo), left me with a huge smile on my face.  The whole album is positively drenched in gorgeous harmonies, ridiculously complicated vocal parts, big, deep, pounding drums and jungle rhythms. The  feeling of energy that this EP exudes is infectious, reminding me of a campfire singalong — all the voices combining and twirling around each other.

In addition to obvious genre comparisons, the driving force of the EP’s percussive elements and the energy of its guitar playing give much of the music a slight punk-rock feeling. ”Full Metal Whacket” is a great example of this style. Along with its base of clean, African influenced structure, the rapid fire guitar and booming percussion almost remind me of the earlier Police records — that nervy, but not quite punk sound.

Young Buffalo is capable, though, of displaying a much more relaxed, therapeutic side. ”Only We Can Keep You from Harm”, the most surface-level gorgeous track on the EP, features a slow, building intro that repeats the song’s title and brings shivers to my spine. The song builds and falls, kicking up its speed halfway through to accompany a fuller instrumental palate and wonderfully complicated drum pattern.  The ending features a wonderful lyrical conceit to bookend the song, a heartbreaking inversion of the title and intro line that sings “If only we could keep you from harm.”  Gorgeous.

My favorite track on the EP, “Catapilah”, immediately grabs hold with quick strumming, pretty keyboards and a fantastic percussion tone. In addition to the track’s unbelievably catchy vocals, I particularly love the wordless vocalizations sprinkled throughout the background.  The “nah nah nahs” and “dah dah dahs” always sound like pure joy. The final song, “Bury Me”, displays an incredible, emotional lead vocal performance.  In the last minute of the song, the nagging minimal guitar part and thump-thump of the drums finally explode into a fuller sound, and the lead vocals become backed up by heavenly harmonies.  It is an appropriate release for such an emotional song and a great way to end the record.

Combining the amazing beats of “Catapilah” and “Full Metal Whacket” with the anthemic nature of “Bury Me” and “Only We Can Keep You from Harm”, Young Von Prettylips is the perfect balance between driving and cathartic. Though Young Buffalo may not have been on my radar prior to this month, they may actually be my favorite discovery of the past year or so.


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