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Album review: 'Searching Hands' 

Buffalo Sex Change

"Searching Hands"

Admirable Trait Records

Buffalo Sex Change is back with a new set of songs, following up a self-titled, full-length debut album that more closely replicated the duo's high energy performances. On "Searching Hands," all the elements that make BSXC potent are still there: Phil Pierce's jangly, surf-tossed guitar work; Clayton Eddy's pummeling drums; the garage rock-chic bravado. But the differences on the band's sophomore record are just as noticeable.

Musically, the songs are tight and focused — with less shoegaze-y reverb and more muscular riffs. Also, Eddy takes the lead vocals on more cuts here, and the added variety gives the music more edge. Lyrically, "Searching Hands" is sensual and suggestive, and the femme fatales and bad boys are plentiful. The title track and "Creature" establish that paradigm well, but the album really hits its stride later on with a trio of near-perfect songs: "No Cure," "Schizophrenia," and "Strange Poison."

Buffalo Sex Change is by no means reinventing the rock 'n' roll wheel, but the band is returning to the vibes of a lost era — perhaps it never really existed — when rock music still felt new, dirty, and reckless. "Searching Hands" has plenty of style, with just a little sleaze.

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