Thursday, February 10, 2011

Buellton - Avenue of the Flags (2001)

Now here's something from 2001 that's thoroughly worth a damn!

Buellton were a band that remain as much as a mystery to me as they are to most. For a band evidently doomed to obscurity, they crafted an album so wonderful that it is as carefully heard as it was created. Avenue of the Flags certainly didn't hit me the first time around, and it in fact took about a week of repeated listens to wrap my head around just what about it kept it afloat. At first, one may find the piece amateurish, with occasionally, admittedly predictable songwriting paired with equally ho-hum lyrics ("The Flow", "What Do You Suppose" immediately come to mind.) What I find sets this album apart from other early-2000's indie rock churned out during the era is their thoroughly original approach to pairing alt. country (if you'll forgive the term) tendencies with slowcore themes and Pavement-esque riffs. There is seldom a moment in this album that isn't somber, but despite their subject matter being so melancholy, Buellton keep one listening with catchy, varied sadcore with unique textures and techniques. It's interesting to me how every song retains its sadness while simultaneously jumping from country twangs, pop chorus lines, and slow-burning slowcore contemplations. Avenue of the Flags has a little something for (almost) everyone, really. I encourage multiple listens if it doesn't stick the first time. While some slowcore bands stick to a beaten horse with one trick in its mouth, Buellton embraced many influences and sounds, and created a multifaceted full-length built to envelop you. You know how it rains during the summer sometimes? That's exactly how this album feels.

With all this said, I own every Seam record ever made. Buellton were John Nygren, Erik Herzog, Andrew Giacumakis, and Tad Wagner.

Buellton - Avenue of the Flags MediaFire


eraser said...

really nice

donkeypunch said...

rumor alert: they are putting out another one. they have not broken up. just really lazy and picky so the new album has taken a long time. it might come out this year.

ryan said...

donkeypunch: rumor or not, that's great! thanks for your comment.

Steve said...

Brilliant album. When the album came out, I sent an email to the band. John Nygren responded personally, and we emailed back and forth a few times. Really nice guy, and it appears they never really toured much because they all had young families. It is worth noting that they have an amazing cover of "Misty Mountain Hop" that was released in 2010 on a compilation called "From the Land of the Ice and Snow: The Songs of Led Zeppelin." It's available on iTunes.

Anonymous said...

They are releasing a new album in 2014. They have one new track up on their website. Thanks for sharing this! I'm from the area (Buellton is the town, avenue of the flags is a main street) and haven't heard this in years. Still a solid album.