From Portland, Oregon, Nice Nice crash into the music scene, with an album that they have boldly called ‘Extra WOW’, and wow is certainly one word you could level at this debut collection, as it certainly blasts out of the speakers and demands attention.
But after the initial surprise, for me at least, the wow factor swiftly fades into the cacophony of noise, experimentation, and sounds that I can only describe as warped machines. This is bizarre, often psychedelic music, that is quite genre specific, and therefore not always easy to listen to. Their opening track for example, makes full use of distortion effects, an urgent, pulsing drum arrangement, and screechy industrial sounds. It’s part electronic, part punk, and towards the end when the music gets very messy, it hints at heavy metal. Then there are the tribal/natural sounds in the track ‘On and On’ and ‘See Waves’, ethereal vocal effects on ‘Big Bounce’, and surprisingly a few easier to listen to tracks mid way through the CD, called ‘A Vibration’, and ‘A Little Love’. These moments are quite refreshing, in an otherwise heavy, fuzzy, and to me at least over distorted CD. At times the rhythm and vocal/vocal effects of the song were lost in the music, and some tracks like the opener ‘Set and Setting’ are best in small, doses with the volume turned down. All credit to them for the diversity of sounds/influences they have squeezed into one album, and there are some interesting tracks towards the middle of the CD, but Nice Nice haven’t really given me an ‘Extra WOW’ I’m afraid.
Nice Nice release ‘Extra WOW’ via Warp Records on April 5th. For more information visit www.warp.net or www.nicenice.net