Review: Dave Buker and the Historians – What Can Bring You Back to Me? (2013)
Columbus indie collective Dave Buker and the Historians are really beginning to make a name for themselves in Ohio’s capital city. The eclectic group released an EP, Say Ave., earlier this year to small fanfare and now, after a year’s work of recording and writing, are back with What Can Bring You Back to Me?
The best comparison I can drum up in my head in terms of equating Buker and company’s compositions to a more widely known counterpart is this – I think of this band as a jazzed up The Head and The Heart. Literally. The mood this evokes within me is very similar to what I feel when I hear jazz in passing. The music is best suited for play on a rainy day in your car, or while sipping a local brew on a barstool in a hidden, artsy dive. The Head and the Heart comparison is perhaps more readily apparent – male leads backed by sparingly used soprano vocals that occasionally jump to the forefront in their restrained, humble manner. And the piano, simple but steady drumming, occasional appearance of the ol’ ‘lectric guitar, yadda yadda yadda.
The whimsical is ever present, and combined with a release that has almost perfect timing, this is a record to be enjoyed thoroughly. The most immediately catchy is without a doubt “Molecules” but the quiet, fireplace-warmth emanating “When You Go” has an endearing quality to it that you have to be in just the right mood to appreciate. The “Sweeter Tears” introduction and reprise that bookend the album are well crafted and don’t come across as redundant, as is often the case when a band chooses the reprise route. Some minimalist acoustic tunes that make up the latter half of the album are probably the low point, yet they still possess an almost therapeutic quality to them that makes the not-quite-as-shiny songwriting excusable.
What Can Bring You Back to Me? is a full length that demonstrates marked growth from Dave Buker and the Historians, and evidence that the independent scene in central Ohio is growing ever stronger.