Buffalo Summer – Desolation Blue (Silver Lining Music)

With Britain in lockdown, welcome to the Desolation nation.

Buffalo Summer could hardly have anticipated social distancing and self-isolation.

But the Welsh quartet’s defiant successor to 2016’s Second Sun seems entirely apt during a period of unprecedented uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly, Desolation Blue is white hot.

Andrew Hunt’s visceral vocals have never sounded more compelling.

Jonny Williams channels his inner Kossof and Perry – pulling off one spellbinding riff after another.

And rhythm section Darren King and Gareth Hunt pace a record that pulls no punches.

Buffalo Summer were trailblazers for the New Wave Of Rock N Roll long before it was a thing.

They’ve been classic rock’s next big thing for the best part of a decade.

Label wrangles and a lack of commercial success might have caused a collective angst.

But neither has curbed the Swansea band’s bullish enthusiasm.

In fact, Desolation Blue is the sound of dogged determination and keeping the dream alive.

The Little Angels-esque If Walls Could Speak serves as a timely reminder that Andrew Hunt is still the best Toby Jepson impersonator in town.

But the heartfelt blues of Dark Valentine could give the classic Cream line-up a run for its money.

It’s the song that’s been looking to burst free from the Buffalo Summer locker for years and it fits this band like a glove.

It’s easy to imagine anthems like The Mirror and Hit The Ground Running (featuring The Cadillac Three’s Kelby Ray Caldwell) sending festival crowds into a frenzy.

And the decision to record Desolation Blue in five days has paid dividends – it’s an urgent and unrelenting call to arms.

Not since The Answer has the UK produced a band guaranteed to deliver authentic classic rock with undeniable power and trademark panache.

That Buffalo Summer continue to operate on the genre’s fringes is as unfathomable as it is unfair.

But new music doesn’t come much better than Desolation Blue.

The clocks might go forward on Sunday but this is a band going back to the future.

Forget British Summertime. This is Buffalo Summer time.