Touch The Buffalo New Album ‘Bodhicitta’ Out 03/01/24

In Mahayana Buddhism, “bodhicitta” means enlightenment-mind or the thought of awakening. For our purposes, though, it’s the title of Touch The Buffalo’s sometimes loud and rowdy EP.

Touch The Buffalo is from Washington D.C. and has been recording since 2017. Folks have described Touch The Buffalo’s music as a mixture of indie, classic rock, grunge, and even dance. One hears many of these diverse elements running through this fine project’s four tracks.

Although noisy in many places, the release closes with “Hope’s Song,” which is relatively soft with its melodic electric guitar accompaniment. Yes, this album includes plenty of electric guitar, including on “The Carpenter and the Nurse,” which is also a slower one. But in addition to the track’s six-string work, there is also prominent, upfront acoustic piano, as well.

Everything on this release, whether speedy or measured, includes heartfelt lead vocals. This singing is not always pretty, at least not in the pure vocal sense, but these words are sung nearly to the vocal breaking point with real feeling.

Opener, “This City’s Burning,” opens up the proceedings with a driving electric guitar-driven track. It incorporates call-and-response vocals over a groove that may remind some of Soul Asylum. You might recall how that band always wears its heart on its sleeve. Rock music is a means to express emotions, as this recording creates a sort of desperation one may also associate with grunge music. However, the track’s electric guitar solo sounds closer to an instrumental break one would expect to hear from a more traditional classic rock song.

In contrast, “In Six Heads About It” begins with what sounds like a ukulele intro. This is not some gentle rolling ocean waves Hawaiian number. Oh no. Rather, it applies unexpected instrumentation to one more propulsive rocker. The track also mixes in more standard sounding electric guitar fills, as well. The song ends with an extended electric guitar jam, in fact.

One wonders how this act got its name. If you’ve studied American history, you already know how American buffalo – once roaming all over the plains of the nation – nearly became extinct. It’s a tragic story, filled with greed and carelessness. Thus, touching a buffalo is a bit of a privilege, considering all the trials and tribulations experienced by these poor animals. Therefore, touching a buffalo would seem to be a rare experience, yet one that would never be forgotten by anyone that’s had that special chance to do so.


It’s not entirely clear what enlightenment or awakening is expressed with these four songs. Sometimes just being fully alive can count as an awakening. This is a band unafraid to let its feelings show. These are not players out to show off what they can do vocally or instrumentally. Instead, rock music is a vehicle to get one’s feelings out there in a way that mere conversation can never do. At only four songs in length, this is quite the small taste of what Touch The Buffalo can do. However it doesn’t take a lot of tracks to realize this act is something special. With Touch The Buffalo, you will most likely come away touched.

-Dan MacIntosh