yokels call Houston
home and have already self-released two records before this one. The 10 songs
here recall elements of the way past (The Band, Crazy Horse, Flying Burrito
Bros., etc.) to recent past (Beachwood Sparks, Scud Mountain Boys, etc.) and
the present (Dawes, Deer Tick, etc.). And if those first two records were just
a warm-up, well, on Nothing Here Seems
Strange they’ve arrived.
The band has
really tightened up the songwriting and by cherry picking 10 of their best
tunes, the record is solid from start to finish. On the opening cut “Wolves and
Owls” you’re greeted by two things, a wildly plucked banjo and vocalist Sergio
Trevino’s high, yearning vocals. The song
is a bit of a haunting number with Trevino repeating “I can’t believe what I am
seeing” before bursting out, while “Fingertips” is a 3 a.m. piano ballad when
it’s closing time and you don’t want to leave.
“Blown A Fuse” grits out some shorted guitar lines before soaring into a
full-blown pop tune, then more of that barroom piano shows up on “Riverbed’
when Trevino asks, “Am I making any sense?” in another attempt explaining love to whomever’s willing to listen.
Later, on “Down in the Valley,” the band’s three guitarists are dueling for the
next opening slot in Crazy Horse. If you’re looking for a band that plays it
straight, well, head straight to Nashville
and leave your trucker cap at the door, but if you want a little cosmic coffee
with your eggs, well, look no further.
DOWNLOAD: “Wolves and Owls,” “Blown A Fuse,” “Boy
of Nine,” “Down in the Valley” TIM HINELY