Nice Nice – Chrome

Nice Nice

Right from the very start, it is difficult to avoid being struck by how intriguing the Nice Nice sound is. The album opens with a bit of a jam session that touches upon virtually every musical style ever created. Funk, psychedelia, rock, soul, electronica. It’s all here and then some. And though it might sound as though this is a description of something truly bizarre and unlistenable, that would be a vastly incorrect assumption. Somehow, the band takes all of these very different elements and melts them into one remarkably cohesive and digestible product.
The opening jam is a relatively brief and extremely funky one, gently leading you into a track that features some wildly distorted vocals and eventually erupts into a truly demented heavy metal-esque outburst. And yet somehow you continue to stick with it, because by this point you realize that your mind is being fucked with and your curiosity prevents you from giving up and pushing the stop button on your stereo. From this point on, all 16 tracks continue putting you through the same sort of thing, laying down immense grooves followed by spacey dreamscapes followed by pummeling rock-outs.
The band takes you from dreaming to dancing to dementia, and you’ll barely even notice the transitions that come in between. The flow of the album is remarkably smooth when you take into consideration all of the styles and sounds that are utilized within the course of these songs. But we haven’t even gotten to the most impressive part yet. Nice Nice is the work of just two guys, guitarist Jason Buehler and percussionist Mark Shirazi. And there’s more, because every sound on this album is live. There are so many intricate layers and so much complexity in virtually every second that you just sort of assume there must be a bunch of overdubs involved, but there aren’t. The instrumentation is pretty simple, consisting of nothing more than guitar and drums, but a wide variety of effects pedals and dub beats make it sound as though there are half a dozen people taking part. You want more? Well, it turns out that the majority of the album was improvised as well. The guys went into their home studio with nothing more than some very basic ideas as to what they wanted to do and just sort of made things up from their, with the record button pushed down the entire time.
In the end, Nice Nice somehow manages to appeal to everyone from bedroom headphone listeners to weekend hipsters. These creations are a little absurd and a little genius, taking the bizarre and angular sounds of so many other neo no-wave artists and making them remarkably easy to listen to.