Nazca Lines

Hyperventilation

Written by: DR on 15/11/2011 22:58:22

Nazca Lines, from Seattle, could hardly have asked for better backing than they have received with "Hyperventilation". The artwork was designed by Cody Votolato of The Blood Brothers, who also lends his vocals and his guitar-playing skills to the album - which was produced by Matt Bayles, who is something of a legend having previously worked with Botch, Isis, Mastodon, Norma Jean and The Blood Brothers, and is being released through the record label Neil Cooper (ex-Therapy?) co-founded.

So, yes, Nazca Lines seem to have had quite the push with "Hyperventilation" - and for good reason, because it is a good album. Stylistically, it's an unashamed throwback to rough-around-the-edges 90s post-hardcore, along the lines of Drive Like Jehu, At The Drive-In and Fugazi that doesn't really focus, or even try, to offer originality. Instead Nazca Lines rely on their love for the genre by playing so faithfully to it. Not that this will really matter to genre-aficionados, as Nazca Lines certainly don't lack the sincerity or talent the genre requires. There are a few efforts which see the band incorporate other elements into their sound, such as the southern riffage in "Spike Them All", and the more intimate and spacious closer "New Direction", which even includes a piano in the crescendo. However, it is with the straight-forward alternative/post-hardcore efforts brimming with intent that comprise most of the album where Nazca Lines will likely win you over. "Bones In Boxes" is the first and one of the finest examples of the solid interplay between a thick bass line and crunchy guitar-work underneath the anguished yell of frontman Cory Alfano that similarly goes for much of the album. "The Ghost" is one of the stand-out songs due to how infectious it is, and "Golden Sunsets" features some of the most passionate vocal work and bounciest guitar riffs on the album.

Not that there is any great dip or rise in quality - in fact, it's a consistently good album - but there's so little deviation from their established style that songs can, for the most part, come to feel a little one-paced. This isn't necessarily a negative thing, because it only serves to illuminate the likes of "Spike Them All" and "New Direction" which are more willing to be a bit more ambitious, while the rest of the album is best appreciated within the context of part of the whole. Ultimately, when Nazca Lines include a line like "This path is our passion" in their album 'epic', "Four Foxes", you believe them - it's hard to not fall for a band who play with as much sincerity and honesty as Nazca Lines do.

Download: Bones in Boxes, The Ghost, Spike Them All
For The Fans of: At The Drive-In, Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu, 90s post-hardcore
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 22.08.2011
Stressed Sumo Records

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