Buxton, Nothing Here Seems Strange

Ashley Melzer

By Ashley Melzer

on 01.31.12 in Reviews

Nothing Here Seems Strange

Tapping into the deep well of Americana

With Nothing Here Seems Strange, Buxton joins the ranks of folk/rock outfits that prove the deep well of Americana still has a few untapped springs. Nothing Here is swelling with boy/girl harmonies, sweeping strings and a shortwave radio texture that swaths lead singer Sergio Trevino’s voice to moody effect. Flare for ambience isn’t the band’s only trick, though. For every finger-picked guitar or lilting melody, there’s a counter balance: a wailing lead riff (“Down in the Valley”), a shuffling beat (“Lynchburg Ferry”), a breakout jam session (“Broke from Bread”). Whatever elegance they conjure is cluttered with distortion and verve more befitting garage rockers than a group of poetically-minded Texans. Their focus as tunesmiths results in a thankful lack of attitude. No smack of nostalgia overcomes the pastoral wilt of “Riverbed.” No indie pretension infects the throwback charm of “Boy of Nine.” The songs hang on artful construction and beguiling vocal delivery. A seemingly throwaway chorus like, “You were down and you were out and you were so torn up inside that you begged me not to look you in the eye,” attains a certain clumsy intimacy thanks to Trevino’s earnest vocal. The woozy pull of strings on “Body Count,” the album’s closer, is an alluring counterpoint to the gloomy narrative. “Nothing here seems strange,” sings Trevino on the track, “cause there’s always been an evil and there’s always been a people that never change.” Grabbing the album title from the lyric is an apt crack at wisdom, mingling instrumental wit, bewitching vocals and complex textures is an even better one.