Avi Buffalo: A Good Band That Needs More Meat

It was an interesting experience seeing Avi Buffalo. Not that their music was particularly avant-garde or anything. In fact, it was pretty standard and ordinary. I think perhaps because the Commodore looked quite empty. (Generally, the dance floor at the legendary venue is packed with very little wiggle room between bodies). I was also a tuesday night, which I have found to be the most difficult night to get crowds. The room in general was fairly low energy, which is unfortunate as Avi Buffalo is a much better band than the one that was showcased that night.

One thing that Avi Buffalo does have going for them is lead singer with the coolest name (or perhaps just most ethnic): please welcome Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg. No wonder he changed it to Avi Buffalo. The music the band outputs is quite mellow. It’s as if a singer-songwriter was being backed by a folk-rock band. (No wait, that is exactly what it is). At times, it almost too mellow and the audience seemed rather bored. Yet Zahner-Isenberg and crew are for sure talented musicians and artists, and the band’s namesake is a good songwriter. The fact that they had the guts to release a single exclusively on vinyl gives points in my book.

And yet, something about the night seemed decidedly underwhelming. The buffalo at its current juncture is too skinny. Again, the music is of good quality, however I feel that with a full band behind Avi, it needs to be a bit edgier. If they had a hook, they music would be that much better. Yet, they will get by doing what they’re doing. They can only get better from here. Another option is for Avi to ditch the band and go solo. Only time will tell.

Their self-titled debut album was released way back in 2010. They also produced a 7″ release – How Come/Good I’m Waiting – in 2011.

RIYL: Martin Sexton, Ron Sexsmith, Hey Ocean!


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