Buffalo Tom Skins

Buffalo Tom Skins
Buffalo Tom were always a band out of time. Too literate to be grunge, too linear to be indie, the Boston, MA trio came off like the Replacements' straight-laced little brother. Ending a nine-year hiatus with 2007's Three Easy Pieces, Skins presents a band still out of place, even with the barrage of current '90s reunions. Working with Paul Q. Kolderie (who produced their 1992 classic, Let Me Come Over) while employing Tanya Donnelly of Throwing Muses to sing back-ups, Skins alerts the listener that the band aren't looking to blaze any new trails. "Down" and "The Kids Just Sleep" work off of Buffalo Tom's usual playbook, as Bill Janovitz and Chris Colbourn dodge dramatically strum-y guitars with their tip-toed vocal balancing acts. While Janovitz manages to fan the embers on "Guilty Girls" and "The Big Light," Colbourn comes off soggy on "She's Not Your Thing" and "The Hawks and the Sparrows," leaving Skins a hit-or-miss affair. And most of those hits are grounders. (Scrawny)