- 20 Mar 12
NEW YORK THREE-PIECE REMAIN DEFIANTLY YOUNG AT HEART
Nada Surf are alt. rock’s very own Peter Pan, a band of lost boys who refuse to age and, instead, continue adventuring in a never-ending 1992. Listening to this, their first album of new material since 2008’s Lucky, is therefore like taking a quantum leap back two decades, to a time when the American underground and college rock bands were beginning to puncture the mainstream.
Lyrically, as well as musically, it’s a record that aches for times past. The path ahead – as contemplated in blistering finale ‘The Future’ – seems dim, dusty and uncertain. The events of yesteryear, however, are recalled with heartrending clarity. ‘When I Was Young’ finds frontman Matthew Caws pining for those days of “aimless dreaming”, as a gentle guitar-strum is encroached on by clattering rhythms and scrappy riffs. Recalling REM at their jangle-pop best, ‘Let The Fight Do The Fighting’ makes the sentiment even more explicit, “You’re gonna wish/That you were young again,” he vows. Elsewhere, brilliant opener, ‘Clear Eye Clouded Mind’ boasts the pop-punk swagger of Sugar, whilst ‘Waiting For Something’ exhibits the melodic know-how of classic Lemonheads.
There is also a striking resemblance – particularly on ‘Jules And Jim’ – to Teenage Fanclub circa Grand Prix. As there, dishevelled guitars, tuneful vocals and heartfelt sentiments abound. The vintage sounds and nostalgic yearning indicate that Nada Surf are – as Bono might put it – “stuck in a moment”. But, my oh my, it’s a glorious moment.
- Live Review
- 25 May 23