Tuesday 21 August 2012

Nife - Chemicals

Album review by KevW

It's always encouraging when bands cite influences such as Faust, Can, Neu!, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, PJ Harvey... because you know that while they're unlikely to be as innovative, pioneering and iconic, it generally means that their heads are in the right place to set about producing music that's a little more diverse and less mundane than most acts who would come under the 'alternative' umbrella. So it was with hope and anticipation that we approached this debut album from Nife. The city of Bath isn't the first area that springs to mind when trawling through rock's extensive and wide-ranging musical heritage. So it's with a slight heavy heart that we find that this trio are highly unlikely to change that. Not with this album anyway.

Debut single 'Chemicals' is promising, a nice enough hunk of alt-rock with some guts, but it's about as experimental as a cheese and pickle sandwich. It gets worse. 'Information Overload' and 'Dregs' are more polished US chart rock than motorik sonic expeditions. 'Silence' begins promisingly, giving you a glimmer of hope that more interesting sounds may yet appear. This anticipation lasts seconds before being thoroughly destroyed. It might as well come with a dyed black fringe and a My Chemical Romance hoodie and sit in the corner sulking. The eight-minute 'Accident In Slow Motion' gives building an atmosphere a go, but does so with little more than some routine riffing and MTV2-friendly vocals, plus it goes on about eight minutes too long.

The next three tracks are passable if you're a teenage girl with a penchant for heavy eyeliner and Robert Pattinson. If 'Chemicals' was a football match then most of the crowd would have left by the time we reach the grand finale of 'If I Was Good' and they wouldn't be missing much. It's not nice to have to put down people's time, effort and passion, but as far as the promised list of influences goes Nife are way way off the mark and are marketing their music to the wrong people. With fingers crossed we hope they prove us wrong with a psychedelic, krautrock inspired follow-up, yet on this form we're not looking at Faust, Can and Neu!, we're looking at Evanescence, Paramore and the Twilight box-set.

Stream or download 'If I Was Good' for free by heading here

Nife's website

Buy the album

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