Buffalo Tom Besides

These prototypical also-rans from the early '90s American indie rock explosion probably won't be remembered much in the years to come, so what better time to clear the vaults? That's not to come down on them - in their time, the Boston trio could muster up a gut-wrenching performance when they needed to - but like their contemporaries the Lemonheads, their sound has dated surprisingly quickly. Not surprisingly, like Evan Dando, singer/guitarist Bill Janovitz has attempted to remain vital by adding some traditional depth to his songs, and it's clear from the selections here that that's precisely what Buffalo Tom needed all along. Their cover of Dylan's "She Belongs To Me" is pleasantly muscular, as is a run through of George Harrison's "Wah-Wah," from a live radio session. Also notable is a cover of the VU's "All Tomorrow's Parties," which shows that Tom's slower side didn't always have to be sappy. However, the overwhelming impression of hearing Buffalo Tom again after so many years is how much of a touchstone they are for the entire emo movement. That's because they always sounded like they were trying a bit too hard. Sometimes you just have to say fuck it, and the best moments on this album are when that happens. (Beggars Banquet)