The Nation Blue

Rising Waters

Written by: PP on 07/01/2010 16:54:58

The Nation Blue are an Aussie band, or actually Tasmanian, but half of you probably wouldn't have a clue where that island is on the map, so whatever. You can instantly hear that the band is from down under, however, from the indie/garage rock quirk they've got in their sound, even though otherwise the band follows the gypsy-punk footsteps of early Against Me! to some extent. They also integrate some original post-hardcore elements to the mix, which makes them quite an interesting blend, eh? So far the band has four releases (three full lengths) underneath their belt before this one, "Rising Waters", and from what I've heard from down under, people are starting to buzz about these guys so perhaps we'll hear about them more here in Europe in a short while?

The first three to four tracks lean towards the Brit Rock explosion of mid 2000s or so, culminating in "I See Colours" which sounds so similar to Franz Ferdinand's debut album that it wouldn't surprise anyone if it had actually been on that record. From track five ("Uprisings Off") onwards, the sound begins to gradually change towards the older Against Me! sound from albums like "Reinventing Axl Rose" and "As The Eternal Cowboy", though the Brit Rock/quirky indie rock feel is consistent throughout the album, so the band never fully reaches Against Me! sound territory. Take "Lovers Darkness", for instance, where the band starts off like one of the quieter Franz Ferdinand tracks, also reminding me of a local Danish band Deadmen's Suit, building the track progressively louder and louder, until the final explosion where vocalist Tom Lyngcoln screams in the same drunken sailor manner as Against Me!'s Tom Gabel on "Searching For A Former Clarity". "This Nine's Mine" follows through with similar vocal style, although otherwise the song goes ultra quirky with the guitars, and finally "I'm Inbred" goes full-on gypsy punk. It's also the best track on the record, leaving me wishing for more of the similar stuff in vain.

I guess this is how a side project between Franz Ferdinand and Against Me! would sound like, although I have no idea why they'd go for such a debacle. For some reason, however, The Nation Blue manage to steer clear of being a debacle by inserting just enough identity to their sound to separate them from just being another Aussie Brit Rock band. The longer I listen to the record, however, the more I'm inclined to go directly for the last quarter of the album where the band sounds most like Against Me. I know it's the inner punk in me talking, so if any of the bands mentioned fall in your tastes, check these guys out.

Download: I See Colours, I'm Inbred, Lope Along Jawless
For the fans of: Franz Ferdinand, Against Me!
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.08.2009

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