Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Nu-Sonics' "The 'Eureka' E.P."

The Nu-Sonics are a Brooklyn-based band fronted by Alex Sniderman, a Rawk-loving kid from Nashville, of all places, who had his first eponymous album produced by ex-MC5 guitar terrorist Wayne Kramer way back in Y2K, when Alex was all of 19. My Dee-troit and Lou Reed-loving pal Geoff Ginsberg, who’d also pulled my coat to rootsy rockers like Eric “Roscoe” Ambel and Tim Carroll, re-released Alex’s debut on his Real O Mind label in 2002, and I reviewed it for the FW Weekly, causing Anthony Mariani to roll his eyes white upwards and exclaim, “Jayzus, you can’t just write about your friends’ projects!”

The “Europa” E.P. finds Sniderman in the company of Noo Yawk sesh vets Melissa Houston (drums) and Scott Anthony (bass), with a stripped-down sound that’s reminiscent in places of the first Lou Reed solo album (which I liked). As much as he might protest that “This is a band, man,” make no mistake: this is a songwriter’s record. Luckily, Alex’s pen remains hot and, dare I say, commercial, revealing him to be more of a Nashvillian (Nashvillain?) than he’d probably care to admit, as displayed on my favorite item here, “Nice Guys,” where a disquieting similarity, vocal and groove-wise, to Counting Crows is overshadowed by the fact that Adam Duritz never wrote a line as funny as “Nice guys always finish last / ‘Til nice girls get divorced.” “Elevation” isn’t the Television song but rather, a relationship rumination (“Mr. Right turned out Dr. Strange”) that’s more Jakob than Bob Dylan. For a witty guy with a smooth turn of phrase, it takes big stones for Alex to sing “Words are just no good / For what I have to say” (“Words No Good”). While his real destiny is making a mint off the 18th song on some blockbuster film soundtrack, it’d still be nice to stumble into these guys (‘n’ gal) playing in some sawdust-on-the-floor dive in Lower Manhattan.


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