A lump of cold dark clay molded by ’90s music, it always tickles me how many new artists now appreciate that little blip in music history. Enter Summer Colds and their latest album Here Comes Nothing. Head to toe this album is a love letter to the alt- rock experience of a time when I still watched The Simpsons. Everything from production to the vocal styling is formulated as a call back. It's a solid amount of fun and nostalgia.
Nic McNamara is the front man as well as the songwriter and the hands behind the production. He's got a plucky disposition when it comes to his vocal style. He's got a campy tone combined with blunt lyrics. The lyrics are key to what had me sold on this album. There is a good mixture of chucking the words out and letting them make a thump and then true poetic, metaphorical approach. He maintains a very clean and catchy structural pace for his songs, and it keeps things moving at an enjoyable pace. I think there are times he sticks too true to format and certain songs get lost as they cohere to one another. There is a lot of vocal harmony as well and while sometimes was a miss for me, there were lots of times where it was lovely and brought back fond memories.
The music rests hugely on guitar power chords. Lots of fuzzy wuzzy guitar layers at play. The guitar is what really seals the deal in terms of that ’90s feel. It's a sound I love but I really enjoyed it when they would step outside this winning formula and separate out the guitar veins a bit. These moments were rare and I wish there were a few more of them if only to remind the listener that this is a modern take on a genre.
As I said, McNamara was the producer on this album as well and I get the sense he executed his vision for this album perfectly. He wanted to capture that ’90s fuzz and he achieved that. This is definitely a time traveling device. At times I think he was so good at achieving this aesthetic that it was almost too spot on and did date the music. There is obvious talent in this group and I would like to hear them in a more intimate sound at some point. The fuzz is good, but it does keep everything at a distance. However what he managed to accomplish on his own is an impressive feat.
Overall Here Comes Nothing is a fun and endearing alt-rock album that pays solid homage to my favorite decade. McNamara is clearly one of those polymath musicians that acts as a one man army for his projects and the result is a very clear and decisive result. I am curious to see what he and this group are capable outside of this particular motif. However, if ’90s alt rock is their bag, they have mastered it and ’90s fans should flock to them.
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