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The first two albums by Buffalo Tom showed that the Massachusetts trio had studied its heroes (Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du), learned their guitar-rock vocabulary, and mastered the ability to put it across. But the band didn't have much original to add, and although Let Me Come Over and Birdbrain were pleasant listening, they were quickly forgotten. Big Red Letter Day is more dynamic, peeling away the layers of fuzz guitar to reveal acoustic guitar and Bill Janovitz' simple but compelling vocal melodies. The album emphasizes the lyrics, which stand up to the scrutiny, and "Soda Jerk," "Would Not Be Denied," and "Anything That Way" are the best songs the band has written. --Jim DeRogatis