Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cold Warps “Don’t Haunt Me, OK?” on Noyes Records



I was just thinking the other day again about how much of a landmark that first self titled Nodzzz album was. It seemed to mark a turn away from the dense serious fuzz going on in Brooklyn in 2008 with the Vivian Girls or Crystal Stilts. Here were four guys from the west coast, playing a loose, jangly pop, sincerely getting away with singing about how they didn’t want to smoke marijuana. Endearing and minimal it referenced a quirky almost post punk sound like Jonathan Richman, Gang of Four or even bands I only found out about later like The Embarrassment or The Units. Unintentionally they seemed to hit on that slacker sound like Wavves, but without taking themselves so seriously? They’ve since broken up and moved on to different projects and lives, but before you get too upset, it sounds like Halifax/Ottawa’s Cold Warps have again picked up where Nodzzz left off with this single on Noyes Records.

“Don't Haunt Me Ok?" has a jangle-y pop junk guitar sound blasting from a tin can, and the way the whole band comes in together with verses and ‘AHH’’s just off the rhythm is exactly how those west coast dudes used to do. This ramshackle attitude could even point straight to Wounded Lion in being afraid of a ghost, taking that idea very seriously with jittery chunks of guitar line. Goofballs arranged by real garage inhabitants, the point is they know where to go for a party, we don't have to be so serious everybody. The video would have superimposed ghosts dancing with the band playing in an abandoned house. It would make out with girls, get slapped and get a little too drunk. Silly ghost. Nothing to be worried about.

"Stuck on an Island" sets sail with whoa oh oh, /no oh oh / where to go’s, in a hint of Weezer’s put together sound. It’s real punchy and layered in a meticulously compressed way. Their vocal harmony, poppy bounce and songs about writing songs are always smashing in the face fun. To be that meta you have to have a preppy sound, no hair out of place and causing trouble. We need someone to do that for us, they’re up there since we can’t be. It's easy to relate to this idea of having fun, god help the serious dudes, NIN (the most serious band I could think of) must have had a time early on having to pull off that level of catharsis, or things that you shouldn't want to feel the need to share with an audience? No wonder he's a mess, to be rewarded for that raw creep his whole life? Let’s agree this is the opposite of that and should be instantly likable - and it is - but don’t hold that against them.

Get it from Noyes direct.

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