Nightmares For A Week

Don't Die

Written by: PP on 08/02/2011 04:12:59

Alright, dear reader, brace yourself for a review jam-packed with references to amazing bands from all sides and outside of the realm of punk rock, one that based on the sheer amount of name drops alone should give you enough information on whether or not to check out the record in question. The band is Nightmares For A Week, a small, up-and-coming trio from Kingston, New York, that I ran across by accident, whose debut album "Don't Die" is in many ways the sonic equivalent of a knowledgeable friend browsing an old records' store with you, pointing out one incredible record after another that you've heard about but never actually checked out before.

Case in point: There aren't many bands in the world who've been able to successfully emulate the subtle but fiercely emotional rage of indie-flavored post-hardcore band Attack In Black, but the second track "Baby" manages just that, while mixing in some gypsy-synth and intellectual instrumentation in the vein of The Hold Steady's "Stay Positive". Both timeless classics if you ask me. A couple of tracks later Nightmares For A Week seamlessly morph into Midwestern punk, taking cues from the slower repertoire on Dillinger Four's "Civil War" and also The Lawrence Arms classic "Apathy And Exhaustion". Later on, the band delves into a cleaner, The Gaslight Anthem-influenced Americana rock on "Lightening Rod", while subtly moving towards "Searching For A Former Clarity"-era Against Me! in the process.

Just in case your mouth wasn't watering just yet, you can also throw in hints of Jawbreaker and The Replacements as the icing on top of an extremely delicious cake of influences from all across the punk spectrum. But, and here's the big disappointment after all that build up, "Don't Die" falls regrettably short from its potential. Whilst it's no secret which bands these lads have been listening to throughout the last decade or so, they somehow lack the final ingredient to push them over into amazing from being merely 'pretty good'. It's difficult to point a finger at just one aspect, but there seems to be a general lack of finesse and attention to the smallest detail, both qualities that made (and still make) all the aforementioned bands special. The songs are good, there's no question about that, but what I'm missing is one or two super tracks that give you the back chills, the ones that stop you in your track and make you go "wow, that was incredible". A few songs like "Old House" and "Bear Mtn." and "New Solitude" come pretty close, though, so it's still definitely a record worth checking out. I just find it startling that based on the references I've mentioned so far, I'm not fully and outrageously in love with this record, considering it more or less runs down a list of my favorite bands from the last four or five years.


Download: Baby, Old House, Bear Mtn.
For the fans of: Attack In Black, The Replacements, The Lawrence Arms, Dillinger Four
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.12.2010
Academy Fight Song

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