Ever since I first saw them perform together at the ages of six and eight, Will Sexton has operated in the shadow of his older, more famous brother, Charlie. That’s a shame, considering that Will’s music has historically stayed closer to their roots; when Charlie was a sixteen-year-old Hollywood teen sensation affecting a British accent, Will was still sitting in with bands around Austin, screaming Little Richard songs. Scenes From Nowhere is hardly rootsy, but it does manage to shine more light on Will than any of his previous work has. It reveals a moody, pensive singer-songwriter cut from the same cloth as Tom Petty or Kurt Cobain who casts a few obligatory nods; “Happiness—I Can’t Fall,” for example, pays tribute to Nick Drake, dead more than twenty years but whose work is enjoying something of a revival among modern rock composers. “Last Faithful Lover” and “Wondering—LA the Whorehouse by the Sea” even sport a few semi-poppy hooks. Still, taken as a whole, Scenes suggests an unfinished work by a promising young artist still figuring out where he wants to go. The shadow, though, has definitely passed.
From the February 2001 Issue Subscribe