Album review: Big Country, The Buffalo Skinners (1993)

 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 17, 1993

By Steve Newton

Having heard very little of Big Country since the mid-’80s, I’d pretty well written the band off as a one-hit-wonder for its early smash single, “In a Big Country”. But, surprisingly, the band’s latest disc is a superb recording, and one that’s bound to make my 1993 top 10.

The Buffalo Skinners is loaded with strident, Celtic-influenced tunes that bring to mind Irish rocker Gary Moore’s pre-Still Got the Blues period. The exhilarating “bagpipe guitars” of founders Bruce Watson and Stuart Adamson are pushed to the fore, Adamson’s vocals are as compelling as ever, and the rhythm section of bassist Tony Butler and Jeff Beck mainstay Simon Phillips is unbeatable.

Lyricist Adamson’s penchant for serious social commentary still thrives too, as can be heard in stirring cautionary tunes like “We’re Not in Kansas” and “The Selling of America”.

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