(Well, I wrote this for another website, but as they haven’t put it up yet I might as well post it here…)
Edit: You can now find said article here. Yay!
You know the kind of stereotypes thrown around by those who blindly hate ‘indie’ music? “The singer can’t sing! They’re not proper musicians!” they cry, before mumbling something about Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin or whoever. Well congratulations, haters, Nodzzz are the perfect band for you to point to in disgust – or at least, they would be if they had a higher profile.
But you know what? Screw the haters. Sure, Nodzzz’s lead singer Anthony Atlas isn’t the most tuneful, and the music on their self-titled album largely consists of sub-two minute blasts of jangly guitar fuzz. But for the 10 tracks that it comprises, it still manages to be pretty fun – you can almost imagine the three of them just jamming out these songs on a warm summer’s day with a few beers. There’s something decidedly youthful about the whole package, and it’s not just the rough and ready musicianship. The biggest recurring theme on the album seems to be growing up – from the anticipation and excitement on ‘I Can’t Wait’ (“I can’t wait for the future/bars and cars”), to cynicism and resignation on ‘Simple Song’ (“Hope you give up on that simple song/forget the words/be a mom”).
Elsewhere, ‘Is She There’ almost sounds like a lo-fi version of an early Beatles song with it’s upbeat feel and simple, repeated refrain, while ‘In The City’ (positively epic by Nodzzz’s standards at over 2 minutes) sees Atlas deadpanning “If you’ve got no talent/then beat it buddy/or stand there looking cool” – a wry nod to the band’s lackadaisical sound, or the resigned sigh of someone who’s heard those words one too many times? If the latter is true, it would be an overly harsh assessment, as Nodzzz have a subtle talent for wry, witty observations – for example, on ‘I Was My Parents Vision’, Atlas sings “I am a memorial to my Dad’s mojo,” which can’t help but bring to mind that awkward feeling you got when you first realised exactly how you came to be in this world. Another talent they have is a knack for simple but effective melodic guitar lines, which shine through despite the raw, fuzzy recording. It’s pointless to try and pick out one prime example as every track nails it to a tee – sure, it’s not virtuoso stuff, but who cares when it puts a smile on your face?
Overall, Nodzzz just sound like they don’t want to grow up – and as such, your appreciation of their sound will probably be directly proportional to how much you can relate to that sentiment – you’ll either find it to be fuzzy feel-good indie pop, or merely amateurish nonsense. Either way, with the album barely clocking in at 16 minutes, you can hardly accuse them of outstaying their welcome.
(Find Nodzzz on Myspace right here.)