Release Date: 25th May 2018
I seriously need to get a set of ‘early-call’ flags right now. It might only be mid-May but if I had the aforementioned flags I would stick one firmly in the squidgy centre of ‘Sci-Fi Television’ to claim it as an early, and very strong, contender or album of the year. That’s right, the debut offering by New York quartet the Nectars is a riot from start to finish and it doesn’t take long to get where it’s going which are just two of the reasons I love it. Strap yourself in and let’s go for a ride. Seriously, clunk-click on that seat-belt, this could get hairy.
Opening track ‘Holy’ sums this album as a rip-snorting bass line emerges from a basement, followed by the drums and the kind of vocals we haven’t heard since early No Doubt – complete for four-counts and yelps. It’s all over in a hedonistic garage-punk blur of little over a minute but there’s a song in there so don’t skip that opening track. Then comes the first of the string of singles that earned the Nectars their sizzling reputation as ‘Heaven’ bursts out of the speakers. Another strong bass line is front and centre here (it’s definitely a theme) but it’s front-woman Jess Kenny and her powerful but sugar-coated vocal that makes this really jump out as she sings “There’s so much heaven and I don’t want to fight you” with breathy desperation.
The pace drops down a notch or two on ‘Cemetary Girl’ which is utterly perfect slice of grunge-pop with Veruca Salt power vocals, Beatles-esque structures and the kind of guitars Kurt would bust out when he was feeling playful. It’s a lot of fun. The standout track on the album and most recent single is ‘We Will Run’ which has all the markings of an absolute, grade-A, 100% summer festival anthem. Full of hope, fear, optimism, dreams and nostalgia, ‘We Will Run’ evokes that emotion attached to running away from everything that’s dragging you down or holding you back and puts it to chugging, Weezer-esque guitars before slapping on a huge chorus full of sing-alongable “Whoa-whoa-whoas” and the key line; “I’ll do whatever it takes to get back to you”. Feel good hit of the summer and then some.
‘I Want It’ has all the snarl and attitude of Suzi Quatro’s bratty little sister with the opening lines of, “You’re telling me to wait, but I don’t want to wait. You’re telling me to wait, you can fucking wait”. Kenny’s voice is versatile enough to switch from angry to soft sweetness to aggression to a siren call and it leaves you confused and exhilarated while that bass hammers away at your rib cage, relentlessly (played by bassist Jon Paul by the way, a name that was surely meant to play the bass). The rockabilly riff of ‘Don’t Panic’ is an instant earworm and once we get past the spoken word public safety announcement we get to witness the excellent guitar work of Michael Baron playing like he’s auditioning for the B52s and he wants to melt their faces along the way.
There’s yet more outstanding bass on ‘Lights Off’ which feels more poppy than the other tracks and could sit on the MTV playlist in between the likes of Katy Perry, Years & Years and the Weeknd with that funky bassline and sweet, assured vocal coming to the fore once again. ‘Tame’ rattles over the twilight horizon with the hum and rhythm of a Harley and all you can do is wait for the chorus to hit you around the face which it does with Queens of the Stone Age power and if there isn’t some crowd surfing going on by now then you’re probably at the wrong show. The album closes out with ‘Tired’ which feels like it might be the first song the band wrote together and they are emotionally attached to the urgent, intense garage-punk that barely gives you time to draw breath in it’s one minute and forty-eight second life span.
So that’s 9 tracks, 21 minutes of music and a new favourite band all done and dusted. Admittedly, they’re going to have to learn a couple of covers to beef out the live set (I recommend ‘Missionary Man’ by the Eurythmics) but you’re going to know you’ve experienced something special when you stumble blinking and sweat drenched in to the night air. The trick that the Nectars have pulled here, and it’s a clever one is this; the Nectars are the band that all guys want to be in and all the girls want to be with…. the Nectars are also the band that all the girls want to be in and all the guys want to be with. A band for the 21st Century with something for everyone and no time to waste? Yeah, I’ll put my flag on that one.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/thenectarsmusic/
16th May – House of Vans, London
17th May – The Great Escape, London
18th May – Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd (Sold Out)
19th May – O2 Academy, Birmingham (Sold Out)
21st May – The Bedford, London (acoustic show)
23rd May – The Monarch, London
25th May – Dot-to-Dot Festival, Nottingham
26th May – Dot-to-Dot Festival, Bristol
27th May – Dot-to-Dot Festival, Manchester