With only one track out of seven to be over three minutes, Home, Wherever That May Be (HWTMB) is very friendly to the masses. The songs are like perfect little cupcakes, baked fresh by Johnny & the Man Kids, that can be enjoyed by whoever, wherever, and whenever. In the Buffalo-based garage band’s words:

This album focuses on the central theme of meaningful change through self-reflection and a shifting perspective. It’s about finding a reason to laugh even if you don’t want to.

Johnny & the Man Kids provide a smorgasbord of vibes – there’s a bit of bedroom-pop and a hearty helping of early-aughts garage rock with one constant factor, psychedelia. The tasty licks from the guitar and the squiggly synth textures will take you on a hazy trip, all in your bedroom. You’ll find your walls breathing in and out like an accordion. Lights from within and a physical shifting in vibrancy. A clean canvas of consciousness is likely to follow the reviewing of HWTMB.

Simultaneously, this album has plenty of potential for radio play. It’s a blessing for Buffalo when local musicians make music with both authentic and commercial appeal. For instance, if I was a Zumiez employee, I would do whatever it takes to get a hold of Johnny & The Man Kids.

I encourage anybody with a pulse to listen to the entirety of HWTMB, but there are highlights of specific tracks that simply can’t go unspoken. An obvious starting point might actually be album closer, “Hudson Bay,” for which the band has put together a live-footage music video. A vintage-sounding Casio keyboard riff starts this one off strong, but “Hudson Bay” also showcases the band’s penchant for beachy melodies; a slacker vocal mentality; and jangly guitar riffage. You might also enjoy the use of drums on “Poetry in Motion” which gave the song a noticeably contagious yet controlled momentum. The raw transparent lyrics on “For When You Can’t Fall Asleep,” wondering things like “Where do you go when you can’t fall asleep?” Followed by the groggy/loose execution of the “Lonely Bones” interlude giving off trippy, desert vibes. 

The warm and familiar production overseeing HWTMB was done by none other than Paul Besch and RJ Demarco of Quiet Country Audio. Two renowned sound engineers from Buffalo that make good records sound great and great records sound amazing, so where do they take records that are already amazing? The answer is Home, Wherever That May Be.

HWTMB is available now via Admirable Traits Records. Check it out below via Bandcamp or stream it using Spotify.