Monday, April 7, 2014

"Free My Animal" by NØMADS

NØMADS are a noise rock duo featuring Nathan Lithgow and Garth Macaleavey, both of whom are  familiar names in modern rock circles.

This venture though, I would wager that nothing they've done previously really compares to this music. (If this is wrong, please let me know because this is the internet after all.) Referring to this duo as a noise rock group though seems so, well ill fitting, but that'll be explained in a bit.

Most of the duos, that are so in vogue these days, thank you Black Keys and White Stripes, consist of a guitarist/vocalist and drummer. Then other little bits are added here and there for color.

Granted there's the James Leg/Black Diamond Heavies thing where the singer is holding a piano, but he overdrives it so much, off track. Off track. Here is where the NØMADS live up to their name by veering off the well worn path. Instead of an electric guitar playing the music, it's an electric bass. Cliff Burton fans rejoice, this album is for you.

Where do we go next?
Upon hearing this for the first time, it kind of sounded like this album was being played underwater. Why does the guitar sound so weird? Why?

Well, mostly because that's not a guitar. Granted, were we guessing, my guess on the size of the pedal board being utilized here would be just shy of 1 Bootsy in length, but that  just adds to the color.

The songs are, for lack of a better word, stark. At least three quarters of the time, more if you count the sprawling nine minute instrumental track at the end, there is only bass, drums, and vocals being played. There are certainly spots where extra color is added by sythesizer and even a guitar solo or two, but for the most part, it's just not there.

The vocals sound very unusual, like the bass. They sort of float. Not precisely monotone, but not precisely multitone (that's not a word). They ebb and flow here and there and reach a guttural scream when called upon, but the add to feeling of the music. The drums and bass guitar largely keep the ship afloat.

The bass plays the melody lines, the fills, and the main riffs. It's omnipresent thunder makes for an album that's too easy to get lost into. The mind wanders while this album plays. The music is a mind lubricant. You will think while it plays. This release is beautiful in its simplicity and masterful in its delivery.

Release: 4/8/2014
Genre: Rock, Modern Rock
Label: Mecca Lecca
Run time: 34:38
Facebook Link

1) In The Mend
2) Free My Animal
3) The Cosmos
4) Summer of Open Wide
5) Blood In The Water
6) Disguises
7) Down in Out
8) Lemming/King

 See the video for "Free My Animal" here.

Preview and download "In The Mend" here.

Preview and download "Free My Animal" (single) here.

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