The Californian eccentric’s second album is full of glorious madness.
Fans of Tim Burton movies know that a touch of darkness is most effective when candy-coated. So it is for Avi Buffalo’s hugely accomplished ‘At Best Cuckold’, a record that documents the spiralling weirdness of one young man’s psyche via a cascade of gorgeous melody.
More than on their lauded debut ‘Avi Buffalo’, the Californian group is now a benevolent dictatorship under Zahner-Isenberg’s watch, the album completed by the 23-year-old largely as a solo concern. In 2010, when that self-titled LP came out, he was presented as something of a prodigy, signed to Sub Pop as a teenager with a record of sublimely sunny, prematurely mature pop. But he seemed to struggle with being the indie star-in-waiting he was supposed to be, and an in-band relationship with keyboard player Rebecca Coleman was followed by her departure. Those following him on Tumblr – where he’s recently taken to posting his own erotic sketches – might wonder if he’s disappeared down the rabbit hole altogether. Yet four years later, his outfit have returned with an album that skirts close to perfection in its 35 minutes of glorious madness and transcendent, George Harrison-like guitar solos. Welcome Avi Buffalo back into your life now. Just keep him away from the pets.