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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

His Name Is Alive

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Review of the Day

Trans Am, "TA"
Man, I am so upset. I usually run out and buy Trans Am albums the day they come out (the only band I do that with!), but their latest album is SO terrible, SO wretched, SO miserable, that I am actually angry. Personally offended, even. That the band would have the audacity to publish this crap colors my experience of all the other Trans Am albums. It's depressing! It appears that the irony that has always lurked in the background of previous albums is the only quality present here. "TA" is entirely reference: "We like OMD, wink wink... overblown MOR rock is funny, wink wink... I'll bet a rap in Spanish would be a ridiculous thing to include on one of our records, yuk yuk". A parody is potentially fine, as long as it offers something deeper than what it initally appears to be. "Future World", for instance, was certainly a Kraftwerk reference, but it's also a great album in its own right. "Red Line" referenced Suicide, but it didn't end there. The Van Halen-like rock-out sections of all the previous albums work because the band REALLY IS rocking out, and the Stewart Copeland-esque drum workouts worked precisely because they used the Police as a starting point on the way to something new. But "TA" is useless. As a joke, it's a thin one. If it's an intentionally unfunny joke, then it fails as that, too. When a band starts writing songs that sound like Loverboy, they are only as good as the context; so when the context is merely a knowing wink, it's pretentious, it's instantly dated ("remember that time when it was funny to sound like Loverboy?"), and the songs still just sound like Loverboy. Sure, there have been entire albums that succeed as parodies of popular genres (the Residents' "Third Reich n' Roll" springs to mind, as does Neil Young's "Trans") and hold up decades after they are published, but this isn't one of them. As a suddenly-former Trans Am fan, I feel ripped off and insulted. They were the one band that I've been sure to catch at every tour, whose albums and concerts I anticipate. This latest album doesn't appear to be "good" on any level. Bye bye, Trans Am... hello Trans Awful. - 

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