January 31, 2005

The Nein "The Nein"

The Nein are somewhat of a supergroup. Featuring members of Steel Pole Bathtub, White Octave and Milk Cult, this North Carolina foursome make music that sounds almost exactly as you’d expect from a band with such a pedigree-loud, dark post-punk that’s very much in line with (and indebted to) the late-80s/mid-90s East Coast indie-rock scene. Upon listening to The Nein (a remixed/expanded version of their self-released EP, Twelve Thirteen Fourteen, you will be reminded of Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Fugazi and Sonic Youth-but only in a good way.

The Nein is worthy of your attention just for the excellent “Handout,” which will take you back to 1994. For a band that’s somewhat discordant, that song’s quite poppy, and if like me, you’ll be grooving to it instantly. They do have a groove to them, as you’ll hear on the upbeat “War Is on the Stereo” and “House Atreides.” Other songs, like “Five Distinctions” and “Giorgio,” are a bit slower and somewhat plodding, but they’ve all got an undeniable groove to them that will make you want to listen to them again. Lead singer Finn Cohen sings with a style that’s detached yet interesting; sure, he does sound a bit like Thurston Moore and J. Robbins, but that’s quite okay; even though the similarities are there, they’re never heavy enough to make you dismiss The Nein as imitators. Instead, you should consider them torch-bearers of a style that never quite received the credit it deserved.

The Nein is a welcome reissue, and if this little record is any indication, then their forthcoming full-length debut Wrath of Circuits will be an impressive record.
--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.thenein.com
Label Website: http://www.sonicunyon.com

No comments: