Lucid Culture


CD Review – The Nice Outfit

We could go on forever about how gentrification has made it doubly difficult for a new music scene created by young people to spring up here in New York. But it hasn’t kept a vital, exciting underground from springing up in Milwaukee. Which makes sense, if you look at the trend nationwide: good bands whose members might have gravitated to New York ten years ago get priced out of the market here and instead head for regional magnet cities like Santa Fe or Houston, doing probably just as well or even better there than they would here. Case in point: the “Milwaukee pop underground” centered around Easter Records, a vibrant, collaborative network of musicians that, by comparison, makes the Broken Social Scene seem pretty kaput. The Nice Outfit is the best new band to spring from it to date.

Their myspace says they sound “like the Kinks on a coke binge.” Picturing a wizened little Ray Davies shoveling blow up his nose at this point in time is pretty funny, but the only funny thing about the Nice Outfit is that they aren’t more popular than they’ve already become in their hometown. Using tasty layers of both jangly Rickenbacker and scorching Fender guitar, their debut ep blasts a hole in your nose, woops, umm, anywhere you need a hole blasted. They’re an escape hatch from a boring day. The first song, Kissing Jocelyn is a fast, deliriously sunny Rickenbacker-driven janglepop hit, sounding something like the Church crossed with New York’s own Dog Show. Track two, This Time Next Year evokes nothing less than Washington, DC psychedelic punk legends the Slickee Boys, with its furious twin guitar attack, Terry Hackbarth and Paul Wall playing off each other with a serious chemical burn. The all-too-brief One Minute Forty-Five – “Summer’s gone in one minute forty five,” goes the chorus – is a scorching blast of garage punk with distant echoes of Aussie legends Radio Birdman. The ep concludes with He Don’t Want You Now, which starts out as the most Kinks-ish of all the songs and builds to the best chorus of any of them. The band brings in a 60s artifact, a repeater box, the second time around. Nice touch. This album just makes you want to head to Milwaukee for Summerfest in June and never come back. It’s early in the year but this may well be the best debut of 2008. Five bratwursts.

Several of the other Easter Records bands are worth checking out: garage rockers White Hot Tizzy, janglemeisters Trolley (also featuring Hackbarth and Wall) and Heathrow, who sound like Supergrass if that band had been raised on Lienies and brats

January 8, 2008 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment