A brand new record from veteran alt-rockers Nada Surf, operating now as a four-piece. You Know Who You Are has been worked on over a number of years, and mixes together all the styles they’ve figured out over the years, with fast n’heavy rockers sitting alongside almost americana-like introspective numbers. Out on City Slang.
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In these days of sleet and horrible things happening I’m increasingly inclined to listen to something a little bouncy to take me away from it all. Nada Surf aren’t by any stretch my favourite band but their streamlined American take on Teenage Fanclub’s sunny side up pop is hitting the spot this cold morning.
Someone’s obviously had some kind of relationship catastrophe as these upbeat guitar anthems are often married to some navel gazing lyricism. Opener ‘Cold to See Clear ‘ fairly rattles along at breakneck speed like ’90’s alt-rock failed to put the brakes on. They haunt on ‘Believe You are Mine‘ with has jangling REM ish guitars married to the kind of heartfelt melody Matthew Sweet once excelled at. I often wonder about where exactly the dividing line is between this LA sun-drenched Americana and the stadium posturing of Bryan Adams. There’s a crossover somewhere in here but don’t let my musing about that put you off, this is hook laden guitar pop which on ‘Friend Hospital‘ sounds quite unnervingly like Death Cab For Cutie with the line “so much better that we are not together because I will not lose you”. Told you someone has had their heart broken.....
“Hey guys my chick’s gone and left me”…..
“Ok I’ll book the studio”
Singer Matthew Caws doesn’t have the emotional intensity of a Ben Gibbard or the wild songwriting chops of Robert Pollard but with former GBV guitarist Doug Gillard in tow spangling his guitar all over the place, Nada Surf make old fashioned honest to goodness guitar pop with tunes and stuff.
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