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Nice Nice, "Yesss!"

Consider this a continuation or addendum or something for my last review of Nice Nice. After I covered the Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter EPs I got some into some pleasant debates which resulted in my receiving of their EP Yesss! on Audraglint.

 

Audraglint

I'm not going to take back anything I said about the seasonal EPs on Temporary Residence. I will, however gladly state that Yesss! is Jason Buehler and Mark Shirazi's greatest release as Nice Nice to date. I liked their debut LP Chrome, but it was all over the map. When you take two ADHD kids spewing out numerous songs of through different styles and confine them to one EP, there can be some surprisingly focused results. The five songs on groove with finesse, with vocals, bass, drums, and whatever else they're actually throwing in. I think by the recording of this they've dropped that gimmick of claiming to be playing everything live in the studio as there's undeniably some multitracking going on, with bass playing, guitar riffs, vocals, and drums all at the same time in spots. The three remixes that go along with them (Caural, Stars As Eyes, and DJ/Rupture) are euaqlly as classy and none of them lose any of the magic: they hold to the feeling the band initiated don't let go and don't leave their muddy footprints all over the place.

Yesss! was originally released back in 2004 and it's been a bitch to find. When it showed up I was ecstatic. What I first noticed about Audraglint years ago is that there's the uttmost respect for attention to fine details, all the covers share a similar aesthetic and actually feel very nice, commanding that desire to find out what musical contents lie within (reminder: it was from Audraglint that the world experienced Nudge for the first time, perhaps one of the greatest new bands in the last five years). Fortunately I have yet to be underwhelmed.

 

The Eye: Video of the Day

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Review of the Day

Bobby Conn and the Glass Gypsies
Mousonturm Frankfurt, April 2nd, 2004
Due to a theater performance in one of the venue's other rooms the band had a late slot at 10pm, after the theater perfomance had ended. The room was well packed with about 200 people, but there was still enough room for everybody to stand comfortably. When the band walked on stage, the great outfits were the first thing to notice: bright yellow or orange pants, neon rainbow belts, matching blue or green shirts, and platform boots. (Even the drummer was wearing a pair of them, probably making it difficult to play.) The band itself is a sight to behold, with the bass player looking like Beck himself, tall guy Pearly White manning the keyboards, the drummer looking like a copy of John Bonham (complete with moustache), guitar player Sledd looking like he used to play in a hair metal band (and boy, the stuff he played sure sounded like that, too) and Monica Bou Bou—the only girl in the band—switching between keyboards, violin and recorder. The real star, however, is 5' 4" singer/guitarist Bobby Conn. Looking like a cross between Lou Reed and a smaller version of early 70s Bowie, he immediately took command of the stage and the audience, ordering everybody to move closer to the front.
The main set consisted mainly of material from the latest album The Homeland, with a couple older songs thrown in. Highlights were the album's prog rock opener "We Come In Peace," the single "Relax," with its funky rhythm and the title track, "The Homeland," which was announced as being the 'official sing-along anthem for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.' For the ballad "Home Sweet Home," Bobby descended from the stage and performed the song amidst the audience. Musically, the set was a mixture of Queen, Led Zeppelin, Iggy And The Stooges, David Bowie, and T Rex, with some funk and disco thrown in for good measure. Quite a few people critizice Bobby Conn for delivering his political messages "disguised" as 70s glam rock, but in concert this worked out fine, with Bobby commenting on the current political situation in the US and talking with the audience between songs.
When the main set ended after a short 75 minutes, it still felt complete and they could have ended it right there. After much cheering, the band came back, performing a few older songs, with "Whores" (from the previous album The Golden Age) being the last one. After that, the band left the stage and Monica started selling merchandise, but the audience was still screaming for more. When the cheering didn't stop after five minutes, Monica left the stage and went looking for the boys to come back for some more. She must have pulled them right out of the shower, for they returned half naked, wearing sweat pants and sneakers, but they did another two fast and loud songs, which Bobby announced with the words "After these, you don't wanna hear anything else." When they finished, the band was finally released to the well deserved showers.
It was a great night with an excellent performance, and it was pretty cheap, too. (Hey, and you can't go wrong with a concert where a platform boot-equipped guitarist is doing jumping jacks on stage, right?) The remaining tour dates can be found on the Thrill Jockey web site. 
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