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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.

 

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Review of the Day

lpd reissues: "the lovers" & "island of jewels"
'The Lovers' first appeared on LP in 1984, side one was recorded at a concert earlier that year while side two were all new tracks recorded live for VPRO Radio in Holland. When the CD was first manufactured in 1991, both tracks from the "Curious Guy" 12" single were included. While the disc is often not considered to be a truly bonafide LPD album, it contains some of my favorite LPD songs. The four songs from side one had only ever appeared on compilation cassettes (if anywhere else). The excitement about the band's current lineup can be observed simply by the volume of material that surfaced in that year (which included both 'The Tower' and 'Faces in the Fire') and here they wanted to treat the older tunes to a newer live arrangement. Side two starts and ends with the timeless emotional, violin and piano heavy classics "The Lovers" parts one and two. It also features the entertaining classic, "Flowers for the Silverman" right in the middle. The feverishly catchy "Curious Guy" is cute and always a crowd-pleaser and the disc ends appropriately with the complex 11½ minute opus "Premonition 16". Bonus bits for the new reissue include a restored cover (which includes all five faces through the flowers), printed lyrics and a thumbnail for the 'Curious Guy' 12" release inside the tray.

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'Island of Jewels' on the other hand is one of my least favorite LPD albums. Recorded and released in 1986, it was the first full-length album recorded with Edward living in Holland and the rest of the group living in England. Incidentally, the album seems fragmented and unconnected, while the production seems rather sterile and thin. The band sounds like a group of musicians not paying attention to each other, all clamoring for attention without letting each other's instruments have a life of their own. It's somewhat painful to listen to as the songwriting really isn't bad at all. Songs like "The Shock of Contact" and "Jewel in the Crown" would probably have benefitted from a completely different recording approach. This reissue is probably one of my favorite improvements on the other hand. The back cover has been adopted from black and white images from inside the original gatefold LP issue, photos have been included as well as lyrics—none of which were on the original PIAS CD release.

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