The Nico Blues-Die Happy EP
Record Label: Tiny Giant Records
Release Date: February 29, 2012
The Nico Blues are a five piece from New Jersey that have penchant for scrappy indie rock that, despite being drenched in 90's nostalgia, manages to sound fresh and original. The band, made up of Eric Goldberg (Vocals, Bass, Guitar), Evan Campbell (Vocals, Guitar, Bass), Reed Adler (Lead Guitar, Bass), Danny Goldberg (Rhythm Guitar) and Skylar Adler (Drums, Recording Engineer), came together in June 2009 as a convergence of childhood friends and two sets of brothers. Die Happy EP is their second release after their debut album Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements which was released in 2010 to moderate success leading to a supporting slot with the newly reunited Blind Melon and hype from MTVu. All of this leads to the inevitable question, should we believe the hype?
Simply put, yes we should. The EP is a perfect mixture of shoegaze, messy indie rock, pop sensibilities and snotty vocals. Fitting in perfectly with a scene condensed with nostalgia merchants such as Real Estate and Beach House, this is the perfect soundtrack to a chilled out summer night. It kicks off with ‘Dementia In Three Dimensions’, a slow, growing, shoegaze track that, whilst managing to be still be heavy, is extremely laid back and is an apt easing into the release.
Next up is ‘Sinking Or Standing’. More of a rocker than its predecessor; it’s a clearer display of the band’s pop side and is one to sing along to. 'Melodic Death Jam' continues where Sinking Or Standing' finished off. It features a lengthy build up and whilst it isn't spectacular, it does display that The Nico Blues stand up instrumentally. "I Could Be Your Pet' is the first single off the record. It's short and poppy and catchy as hell, and is a highlight of the EP. 'Mugshot In Princeton' and 'Happy Medium' round off the EP. Happy Medium is the catchiest track off the release and leaves you wanting more from The Nico Blues.
All-in-all, Die Happy is a showcase of a new band that is offering something refreshing and new to the table whilst wearing their influences on their collective sleeves. Sounding like a younger, heavier Pavement, The Nico Blues write songs that are extremely laid back but don't sacrifice the ingredients needed to rock out. Sure it's not perfect, the vocals can be too childish at times, and some of the songs sound similar, but on a whole this is great effort from a young band, and it's perfect for oncoming summer nights.