The White Buffalo – Love And The Death Of Damnation (Earache)

Genre: Americana/Country Rock

The White Buffalo – aka Jake Smith – embraces the type of rough-edged, softly-destructive tone perfectly suited to songs charting love, loss and hardship. Love And The Death Of Damnation, his latest stripped down take on American life, perfectly showcases a considerable talent.

His may be a name new to fans on this side of the Pond but it’s not as if the Buffalo is one of the new kids on the rock block. Five albums and 14 years into a slow burning career there’s a great deal of experience, bitterness and cynicism underpinning an assured and endearing album.

Radio With No Sound leans on Smith’s vocal prowess with the minimum of fuss and a pared down production while I Got You is a perfectly skewed bittersweet ballad.

It’s no surprise that a slew of The White Buffalo’s trademark tunes have soundtracked various episodes of Sons Of Anarchy – the gritty bikers’ drama and Smith’s deadpan delivery are a creative match made in heaven. However, on Love And The Death Of Damnation new layers of creativity and a genuine emotional depth suggest even greater notoriety awaits.

When The White Buffalo insist they ‘don’t belong in modern times’ the irony runs deep. In truth this is a band for the here and now and you won’t hear much better in 2016.