Buffseeds Sparkle Me

The UK has been hit with a wave of angst-ridden, melancholy guitar bands of late, all trying to emulate the success of the likes of Coldplay, Travis and their ilk. One of the latest additions to this ever-expanding list is Devon’s Buffseeds. Sparkle Me is their debut North American release, and it is a collection of songs from their first three singles along with the title track. With too many bands trying to follow what has turned out to be a successful template, Buffseeds have one unique element that makes them stand out from the crowd — singer Kieran Scragg’s voice. He has an unusual falsetto that falls somewhere between Brett Anderson and Robert Wyatt, and it helps to elevate the mundane lyrics to the level of being almost captivating. When the voice is combined with the soaring, lush music, Buffseeds sound very similar to the neglected JJ72, and that is a compliment. In a world where Coldplay are so unfeasibly popular, there’s absolutely no reason at all that Buffseeds should be able to find a suitable niche where their prospective audience can be wooed by their rather impressive sound. Their forthcoming first album, The Picture Show, is definitely one to look out for. (Sanctuary)