Alex Pulec is the circus leader behind the new hyper-infectious avant-pop group called The Nursery. On their debut album Carnival Nature the band mixes it up with six off-the-cuff songs that marry experimental ambition and pop sensibility. The music is incredibly original and in a lot of ways reminds me of Of Montreal in the way the hooks are so catchy and puts to shame most conventional pop. Pulec is no slouch with his lyrical dexterity either as he weaves in original thoughts, puns and metaphors throughout the album that polishes the creative endeavor with a final glaze.
The album starts things off with “Lysergically Yours,” which is a huge sounding song that splits into different sections that sound like bursts of creativity and energy. Take for example the bridge where the band goes from rocking out to seamlessly transitioning into a section that sounds a bit like a Russian circus. There is also the badass guitar solo that comes out of nowhere. Perhaps the most enjoyable thing about the song is the finer details. For instance, during the verse there is a moment of subtle brilliance with the vocal harmonies joining for just two words “Guilty, Guilty.”
The second song “It’s a Sin” is a cover by the Pet Shop Boys that the band contorts their style while not deviating too far from the original. “Lucy” is arguably the best song on the album. There are a lot of changes and wickedly inventive things happening within the first minutes. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more, the arpeggiated synth line or the guitar part that happens at the 55 second mark. Let’s not forget about the bass line that is a non-stop cascading assault of notes.
I thought “Domino” was going to be the most straightforward song on the album before I heard the breakdown where it sounds like you are trapped in a whimsical children’s story where Pulec is the mad villain as he declares “Now up in the clouds, I can follow you around and come down to haunt, deliver messages that I want.” The last song “I Was I Was Someone Else” is the calm after the storm and is free of any percussion. The melodic guitars worked especially well with the horns and proved to be a great way to close the album.
I really can't say enough good things about this record. The songs are exceptional and Pulec has proven himself a creative force not to be taken lightly.
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