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CD review: Avi Buffalo

Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)

Avi Buffalo's debut is a love affair with sunny '60s pop. Eighteen-year-old frontman Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg draws inspiration from the same well as the Shins. Guitars jangle, vocals are molasses-thick, and the mood is pure beach party. "Truth Sets In" bounces along on soft acoustics, handclaps, and harmonized hooks sharp enough to pierce the ear of any sugary-sweet pop fan. "Coaxed" is a dreamy, psych-rock ditty, grounded by twinkling keys and maraca shakes. And tracks like "Summer Cum" and "Where's Your Dirty Mind" put a mile-wide grin on the face of freak-folk. Each song is dense and warm, demonstrating an ear for melody and a serious attention to detail. Zahner-Isenberg shoots for the stars and often bags a bright one in the process. Avi Buffalo may be the new kids on the block, but with their joyful, precise debut, they've already earned their keep. — Matt Whelihan

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