Navy Of The Nice – Navy Of The Nice 7″

Navy Of The Nice
Navy Of The Nice 7"

It’s Christmas in July when a new stack of 7-inchers arrives on your doorstep. At the top of the heap and sticking out with its Suicide Squeeze-like art work is the first offering from Navy Of The Nice. The project of one man band Nick Jackson these 4 songs show plenty of promise for the future while drawing favorably from the golden era of lo-fi indie rock.

Each song recalls fondly a different forefather of the underground be it Bob Pollard, Jeff Mangum, Mac MacCaughan, or John Darnielle. Right from the start Jackson is spewing forth words at a rapid clip and in a voice quite similar to the main Mountain Goat. It even begins in a manner you could imagine Darnielle starting with, “When the war pigs come for me/pack your bags love, it‘s time to leave…” before they’re off to “Yellow Springs, OH“. Drums and bass come in fuzzy and lift the song skyward and hark, is that a melodica I hear? Nice touch, my friend.

Ooh, but that melodica doesn’t stop there. It carries over into “Sea Cow” as just one of many kitchen sink instruments used such as a banjo and what sounds like some drinking glasses for percussion. As ramshackle as it sounds it makes for a joyous little number which is over far too soon.

Where the Bob Pollard influence comes in is apparent from the descending guitar that open “Roseland.” Jackson sings for notes he can’t quite hit, just like Uncle Bob, but the chorus is far more genuinely rocking than anything on the final GBV albums. Throw in some Archers of Loaf noodling for a solo and you’ve got the catchiest song on the record, happily tucked away on the second side. “Window” wraps the debut up with a Feelies inspired piece, again all too short, with lyrics containing nothing more than “Ahhh, staring drunk out the window.” It creates such a scene, these simple repeating words, a plucky banjo melody, it could be set on a hope filled winter day or a breezy warm spring afternoon. Where “Roseland” rocks, “Window” is filled with wonderful imagery and only takes a minute and a half to transport you somewhere else.

It’s going to take a little more time for Nick Jackson to grow Navy Of The Nice into a sound of his own, but this is a wonderful start.