On Nothing Here Seems Strange, Houston-based quintet Buxton's debut for the nationally distributed indie New West after two self-released efforts, the group comes off as a country-rock outfit in more of a south-of-Los Angeles than Southwest tradition, recalling the sound of such predecessors as Crazy Horse and Gram Parsons. Singer/guitarist Sergio Trevino may refer to the "Lynchburg Ferry" in his whiny, high-and-lonesome voice, and the instrumentation may include lead guitarist Jason Willis' occasional forays into mandolin playing, but this is not a band that would be likely to sound at home in either Nashville or Austin. On the other hand, Topanga Canyon or Marin County might be more welcoming. "Am I making sense?," asks Trevino in "Riverbed," "Do you see the relevance?" His concern comes from his musings on matters spiritual, philosophic, and romantic, and it is echoed in the arrangements, which tend to grow out of noisy backgrounds in which the guitar strings are scraped and the effects pedals employed. Band associate Hayley Barnes also adds to the eerie, murky mood with keyboards on tracks such as the moody closer "Body Count." Meanwhile, the Marin connection seems most pointed on that song's predecessor, "Oh My Boy," which finds Willis taking psychedelic solos. The result is a musical hybrid, marking the members of Buxton as lonely space cowboys looking for meaning in a universe of country-tinged rock roots.
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