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Nice Nice
Extra Wow Mof Gimmers , April 13th, 2010 11:27

John Lennon (not him again) once said of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' that he imagined thousands of monks chanting. He wanted to be swung from a rope whilst he sang, but instead, chickened out with a Leslie cabinet speaker. Well, Nice Nice open their new LP Extra Wow with the sound of a million monks, backed by spaced out drones and enough sonic fug to fell the entire back-cat of the 13th Floor Elevators.

The album kicks off and keeps kicking on until your ears are left curled in like salted slugs, withered and dropping from the side of your head - redundant. If you're going to hear one last long-player alongside that proverbial last meal, then Extra Wow isn't a bad place to end your listening days. Opener 'Set and Setting' segues out of the chants into relentless kosmische... but instead of that careful control of, say, Neu!, Nice Nice are absolutely intent on turning your brain into soup. This is monotonous, white noise headfuckery of the highest order.

Of course, this should come with the caveat that Extra Wow is one of those records that critics and musos thrill over, puzzling everyone else to shit. However, that's no bad thing in this case. Certain sections of this record are so loud that you get the impression that the group are actively trying to frighten you off. There's bits in white-noise dub-goo 'On and On' where you can almost hear the band sniggering at you as you wade through the relentless, swarming, clawing sound. Of course, this isn't just some dumb-fucks trying to out-do you. If it was plain old sonic weaponry, you'd be bored stiff after two songs. As (the remastered and soon to be re-released) Metal Machine Music showed, a joke can wear very thin, very quickly.

Mercifully, Extra Wow mixes the aggression with subtle gems. As well as an obsession with 70s Germanica, this album clearly has one eye on My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain. There are some seriously beautiful moments tucked away in the bludgeoning racket. 'New Cascade' is a pastoral, languid piece of music that provides the light amongst the neon fuzz of the wonderful 'A Vibration' and downright mental 'It's Here'.

Whilst a lot of noise LPs are more of a test of endurance, Extra Wow is a real treat to listen to. Sure, there's bits of it that will make your head feel like it could well be imploding, but those moments are pretty fleeting as you peer into the centre of the songs to peel back the layers. Jason Buehler and Mark Shirazi, the clearly psychotic pranksters behind all this, call their mix of fuzz pedals, banks of reverb, drums, out-there voices and electronics "post-everything modern music". As classifications, that won't do at all.

So what is it? Well, it's certainly in the psychedelic ballpark. It echoes the bottom heavy musical freakiness of Easter Everywhere along with the savage grace of Loveless; a real mindbender of an album that's as brutal as it is kaleidoscopic.

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