Avi Buffalo Avi Buffalo

From Beach House's Teen Dream to Coco Rosie's brand new Grey Oceans, it's been a remarkable year for Sub Pop, and here's one more to add to the stack: the debut, self-titled release from fresh out of high school California kids Avi Buffalo. At the onset, this album could go one of two ways, although the chance of writing it off as moderately enjoyable dinner music with lofty chord sentimentality and relationship metaphors is overcome by the band's use of the inevitable naïveté of youth, reminding every listener over the age of 18 just how essential those days really were. There's an honest angst that redeems the adolescent whine on "Jessica," turning it into a song we can all relate to, and those relationship metaphors, while plentiful, are actually pretty cute. Young they may be, but youthfulness should not be confused with juvenility. The first words uttered by lead singer Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg are about fatal mistakes and witchcraft, and first single "What's In It For?" is among the many lyrical highlights of this album. Surprisingly, "Summer Cum" is more delicate than vulgar, calling back the flirtatious romanticism of Animal Collective's "love album," Feels, with a frolicking melody, à la "Hear Comes The Sun." One of the album's most endearing moments arrives on "One Last," when keyboardist Rebecca Coleman gets her first bits of real vocal attention, of which there should be more. (Sub Pop)