The strength of A Flood of Circle’s 2007 debut eponymous EP helped the Tokyo quartet secure a coveted spot on the rookie stage at that summer’s Fuji Rock Festival. A clear sign of bigger things to come, with the release of their first full-length recording, “Buffalo Soul,” the act have again scored an invite to the famed event, but this time they’ll appear on one of Fuji’s main stages.
Listening to “Buffalo Soul,” it is easy to see why the group are climbing the Japanese modern rock ranks. While too many young bands push themselves to deliver a long-player shortly after forming, A Flood of Circle honed their songwriting skills over the course of two EPs and a live disc before crafting the sharp, focused “Buffalo Soul.” Showcasing an appreciation of blues, classic rock and alt-rock, solid, well-played tracks such as “Thunderbolt,” “Electric Stone” and a re-recorded version of 2007’s “Black Bird” could all be potentially popular radio singles.
“Buffalo Dance” mixes a sped-up, vintage Western flick- inspired guitar riff and tambourine with catchy contemporary pop-driven sounds and is peppered with several Native American-styled battle cries from vocalist Ryosuke Sasaki. While it’s questionable how culturally sensitive of a move this is, his lighthearted, unmalicious actions are unlikely to raise the eyebrows of any homegrown fans.
A promising effort, “Buffalo Soul” will no doubt boost A Flood of Circle’s drawing power among the country’s rock-music fans.