The first time I saw Go Go Buffalo, the band cranked out a frenetic set at Bogart's during a new artist showcase ahead of the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in 2016, the year they were nominated in the category of "New Artist of the Year." After a handful of blistering Hard Rock/Indie Rock songs infused with the kind of manic energy typically exhibited by sugared-up five year olds on a kindergarten playground, frontman Jeremy Moore pulled a greenback out of his pocket and set it on fire, likely breaking several building codes and the bounds of economic decency, as defined by legendary cheapskates J. Paul Getty and Scrooge McDuck.
It might have been no more than a dollar, but it was Rock anarchy at its finest, and just one splendid moment in a breathless and brilliant performance. Not surprisingly, the boys of Go Go Buffalo routinely replicate these moments on an almost insanely regular basis.
Go Go Buffalo is seriously underrepresented as a recording band, but a good deal of that situation may well be a natural byproduct of the fact that the band is constantly on stage, often dressed in togas, short shorts or what appears to be the adult version of Underoos, which one would have to think are custom-made. The band's debut full-length, 2016's Taking Control, did a magnificent job of translating their live exuberance and quirky sonic presence in the often confining sterility of the studio, and went a long way toward their New Artist nomination that year.
And while we're on that subject, GGB were the target of some controversy late last year when they won the Best Hard Rock/Metal category at the CEAs., the problem apparently stemming from the fact that GGB doesn't throw devil horns, doesn't possess a closet full of sweat-drenched black leather (for the record, though, everything that is in their closet is definitely sweat-drenched) and doesn't take themselves too seriously; the band's “About” statement on their Facebook page is “Singing about John Travolta since 2014.”
In other news, there was absolutely no controversy over their win as the city's Best Live Act. Know a better one? Name it, we'll wait… That's what we thought.
Given GGB's sterling (and now award-winning) reputation as a freakishly talented and adrenalized live act — think Foxy Shazam if they'd been steered by Black Sabbath instead of Queen — it only seems natural that the band's next catalog step should be a live album. To that end, the hyperactive foursome has released Live In Hell, a 28-minute, eight-song set recorded earlier this year at Urban Artifact, that does an even better job of representing Go Go Buffalo as a performing entity because it's, well, live.
Live In Hell kicks off with the relatively new song “Bullskin Bandit,” which Jeremy Moore introduces as being about “how I killed Mac Miller,” followed by the song's count in, Moore bellowing, “Too soon…” and the monolithic Tony Iommi-riff-wrangling of his brother Tyler.
If you're looking for surprises, those come up next in the set, as GGB covers Randy Newman's “Last Night I Had a Dream” in their own inimitable fashion, mashing it up with “Worth It,” an original that exemplifies the band's sure-fire formula of contemporizing Classic Hard Rock with Indie Rock verve, Art Pop hooks /quirks and no-fucks-left-to-give attitude. “Livin' It Up” and “No More, Ernest Hemingway” could be outtakes from an old King Missile session from the mid-'90s and “Poison Patrol” finds the band in mash-up mode once more, with a nifty segue from their Jimi Hendrix/Budgie homage to their screaming cover of the recently late Dick Dale's “Misirlou” and back again.
There isn't a false note anywhere on Live in Hell, thanks to authentic and typical piss-on-an-electric-fence histrionics from Cincinnati's Best Live Band; full-bore guitar bloodsugarsexmagic from Jeremy Moore, syncopated neuroses from interstellar rhythm section Jeremy Click on bass and Jason Drennan on drums, shivery sax appeal from Sax Cat and the ringmaster from John Waters' Circus of the Stars, frontman Jeremy Moore.
A live album should definitely allow you to experience what a band sounds like in front of an audience, but Live In Hell gives you the rare opportunity to experience what Go Go Buffalo feels like. And it feels good, brothers and sisters, bet your ass it does.
Click below to stream and/or purchase (at a consumer-friendly "pay what you want" pricepoint) Live In Hell.