.Love Your Local Band: Bitter Buffaloes

There’s not a lot of music on local trio Bitter Buffaloes’ Soundcloud page—in fact, as of right now, there’s only one song. It’s a surprisingly mature, genre-tinkering, tripped-out mellow rock tune. But it’s not the group’s first. They’ve gone through several lineup and style changes, and now as a trio, they’re really starting to land a sound all their own.

“We’ve never been able to identify really strongly with a specific genre,” says guitarist/singer Chris Halasz.  “I think the more we started realizing that we were kind of synthesizing different parts of blues and rock and jazz, and even some punk stuff, we just bottled it up into what we liked.”

The group started years ago as a duo, with Halasz on guitar and vocals, and Josh Hewett on drums. At one point, there was a saxophone and a bass player. When the bassist left, keyboardist Curtis Murphy altered his parts to cover the low end, while still playing some more traditional high keyboard fills and leads. The tighter, slightly offbeat sound worked to the group’s advantage. The song on Soundcloud is a result of this new lineup shift, which happened less than a year ago. They removed all older music from their Soundcloud page, and are currently working on an EP in the vein of this tune.

“I think what makes the trio thing work so well is, on a personal level and chemistry-wise, and just from an artistic and creative perspective, the three of us have this really strong connection. I feel like these two guys are like my brothers,” says Halasz.

INFO: 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.

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