Texas folk/rock five-piece Buxton made their major-label debut in 2012 with “Nothing Here Seems Strange” and I really wanted to love the record. I really dig the writing and vocals of frontman Sergio Trevino, but despite a few terrific moments, the album ultimately fell just short of essential. I’m happy to report that Buxton have taken a nice step forward with newest LP “Half a Native.”
Trevino is still the straw that stirs the drink, but he and Buxton are far more effective on an understated song cycle like this 11-track gem. Thanks to producer Thom Monahan, who also works his magic on Vetiver’s latest record, the non-essential elements of the songs have been stripped away.
The opening tandem of “What I’d Do” and “Good as Gone” set the tone for the album, and Buxton later score with the hauntingly lovely title track, fun-filled “High Tones,” “A Little Bit More,” “Be Somebody Else” and set closer “Pool Hall.” If they take a similar leap on the next album, Buxton could become a truly special band. (Jeffrey Sisk)