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coverpic flag US - Idaho - Full Moon 185 - 10/12/11

Love Songs and Battle Hymns
ButtaMilk Records

Pop quiz: What band has been together seven years, features former members of Mondo Generator, Queens of the Stone Age, The Eagles of Death Metal, Caustic Resin and Built to Spill, had their self-titled debut album produced by Hunt Sales (Iggy Pop and David Bowie's Tin Machine) and mixed by Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary? The answer is of course Muffalo, the brainchild (or lovechild/war child if interpreting the album's title) Derek Myers of Boise, Idaho. Love Songs and Battle Hymns holds what its title promises. As well as holding some decently catchy and rolling rock.

The Muffalo threesome; Derek Myers (who once was in Mondo Generator on guitar and vocals), Gene Trautmann (ex-Queens of the Stone Age on drums), and Dean Gunderson (ex-Cat Butt/Jack-o-Fire on bass). Additional musicians counts Brett Netson (who's been with Built to Spill, Caustic Resin, and Mark Lanegan's band), as well as producer Sales and mixer Leary. The rock blend of Love Songs and Battle Hymns is quite comforting. Spunky, spirited, catchy rock of the alternative, harder 'indierock' kind. Not quite up there in the QOTSA league, but quite sympathetic nevertheless. Myers has been working on these songs for the past 8 years, and he's for sure got an ear for melodies and riffs. I also like the formula: 10 songs in 33 minutes, the perfect length of an album. Of the songs I find "The Bleeding Heart", "Battle Hymn", "Purpose of Aging" and "Pins and Needles" to be of the better ones.

All in all it's a solid album, but it's not the re-invention of the wheel.

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