And now, with Big Red Letter Day, the boys have delivered their fourth collection of inspired, straightforward power pop. This time around, however, things are a little different. While every other band in the Free World is busy adding the layers upon layers of white noise that graced Buffalo Tom's first two albums, 1989's Buffalo Tom and 1990's Birdbrain, the group has taken the acoustic tinge of last year's Let Me Come Over a step further. At this most flannel of moments in the collective unconsciousness, Buffalo Tom have tuned in, turned on and toned down.
``We got criticized for the louder guitar stuff, if only because J Mascis [of Dinosaur Jr] produced the first two records, and people thought we were trying to ride on his coattails,'' says Janovitz. ``Now people don't get why we're quieting down, now that grunge is big. We've wanted to tear things down, even within our own realm.''
In these days of the band's deconstruction, the accent is increasingly placed on Janovitz and Colbourn's harmonies - creating a more traditional singer/songwriter feel to the group's work. It makes sense. You see, both Colbourn (he of the boyish, pop-inflected voice) and Janovitz (the tougher, more world-weary cry that has always distinguished Buffalo Tom) are each singers and songwriters. While Janovitz handles the bulk of the Buffalo load, Colbourn tosses in his two songs' worth on Big Red Letter Day, just as he added a pair of tunes to Let Me Come Over and one to Birdbrain.