Feathers / Flint 7”
Guest Contributor: Michael Dallas Miller
It’s hard to say why the two songs on Buxton’s recent 7” release were not included on their other two full-length records. Maybe they were born in a flurry of creativity after other recordings were finalized. Perhaps they have been floating around since before the band put out anything, but have just never found a home. But, no matter what vinyl, digital, EP, LP, or single format they do or don’t belong in, these songs are good. Damn good.
Side one consists of one song, called “Feathers.” Romping drums and screeching horns give way to insistent piano chords and a dance-a-billy guitar lick–which works like the last piece of tape used in wrapping a wonderful Western Christmas gift of a tune. Sergio Trevino’s sleepy vocals have depth and intrigue as he sings, “There are feathers, in our letters,” and the song moves from gentle six-string plucks to battle drums and unforgiving guitar strikes, before ending with one final punch of Texas rock and f@#%ing roll.
Buxton’s musical is regional—without my small bit of research, I would have either guessed these dudes were a Texas band, or an LA band made up of guys who grew up in Texas—but are not hokey or cute. Flipping to side two, you hear instantly a classic honky-tonk guitar and shuffle beat in “Flint.” Hearing this, you might think this is just a hipster rip-off of good old-timey tunes from the golden age of country-western tunes. Sure, Buxton uses an old form, but this small dose of ditties is not pure and simple imitation. “Flint” uses ghostly Modest Mouse harmonies, Neutral Milk horn play, and teetering 21st century rock textures to give their songs more than just good hooks and better melodies. Buxton is a new band for me, but I’ll be coming back to this single often. In 11 minutes and 44 seconds, I’ve become a Buxtonator, a Buxtonhead, a Buxtucks, or whatever you want to call a music fan that digs on Buxton.
Michael Dallas Miller lives and works in Seattle, Washington. He spends most of his time writing for various online and print magazines, working at the Pike Place Market in an oil and vinegar shop, going to the many shows available in town, playing basketball, training for his first marathon, and trying to find the best Pad Thai in Seattle (the best omelet search ended two years ago at Katina’s Kitchen in Magnolia). His work has appeared in Sound NW Magazine (both print and online editions), Geez Magazine, and Burnside Writer’s Collective, as well as one poem in The Lingua Journal.