Friday, March 16, 2007

Noisy Rockshow feat. the Nein, Maple Stave, Sorry About Dresden

The Nein:

"The Vibe" (from Wrath of Circuits 2005. Buy/download)
"Decollage" (from Luxury 2007. Buy/download)
(MySpace :: ReverbNation)

I'm still absorbing Luxury, the latest release from Durham's art-punk quintet the Nein, but since they are part of a great line-up in a free show at Local 506 tonight, it seems like a good time to give them at least a nod. If nothing else, the show should be loud, including not only the Nein, but Maple Stave and a rare appearance by Sorry About Dresden. I saw Maple Stave at Troika last fall -- their recordings don't do justice to the racket they make! But it's not "nothing else", of course, because the guys in Maple Stave have the technical proficiency to pull off their complex songs, and Sorry About Dresden carry on the classic Chapel Hill indie rock tradition in fine style.

I'm still mulling over Luxury, so I don't have a detailed analysis. (Not that I'm ever much of an album-review guy...) Although I'm generally enjoying it, it's a good bit more experimental than Wrath of Circuits, and I haven't been able to give it a close enough listen to work out what I think of this shift. As these reviews note, this time around, the songs were built from the ground up with tape effect/sample guy Dale Flattum on board (rather than grafting his contributions onto already-written songs), which makes for a more varied and ambitious sound. As with most challenging music, its appeal is not as obvious on first listen. We'll see how it shakes out for me in the long run, but hats off to the Nein for pushing their sound in unexpected directions.

I've posted one song from each album, not because they're particularly representative of either one -- they're not at all, really. But they do sum up something about the difference between the two. In one sense, they are similar to each other, with some spacey sound effects and great pounding percussion. But "Decollage" is more out-there, walking the edge of falling apart.

I've been experimenting with my Reverb Nation account a little bit this week. As a music-oriented social networking site, they have MySpace beat badly in terms of technology and general experience. I suppose the main "drawback" is that you can't customize the appearance of your page, but given the nasty layouts so common on MySpace, I'm not so sure this is a negative at all. In any case, one thing you can do is assemble a mix from various artists and plug it into your own site. So here's a sampler of the various bands at Local 506 tonight -- you can download most of them for yourself if you go to Reverb Nation.

The Oak Room

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