- by charles filtness Rating: Release Date: Label:
North Carolina band Nest Egg signed with Fuzz Club records to release their second long player ‘Nothingness Is Not A Curse’ earlier this year. The label focus on guitar bands with varying influences but with psychedelic, krautrock, and shoegaze being some of those most often quoted.
No surprise then that Nest Egg fit within that broad description. They have seemingly combined elements of bands like Can, Interpol, Loop, and others to create a colossal sounding record. A pounding, urgent album with an unsettling, foreboding edge that has you hooked on first listen. It is a record that relies on noise but it has also been crafted, the sounds perfected and recorded in such a way that every detail can be heard. There is space, nothing is crowded out which ensures repeated listens continue to be rewarding. The four musicians who recorded the album have now thinned to a three-piece. On stage, they play drums, bass, and electric 12 string guitar with the synth and keyboard elements now recreated live with the use of a sampler. Don’t let that detract, this is a set up that works really well.
They are playing this unfamiliar space, essentially a basement club not far from the centre of town. Not a music venue Manchester is better known for but it’s an intimate sized room with a good sounding PA. The trio are ferocious from the start, the drums are clattered throughout; how he consistently keeps pace with the driving beat of much of the set is impressive. Singer and lead guitarist Harvey Leisure is also similarly involved, at times frantically head shaking along to the tunes. Only the bass player remains relatively restrained but rarely static. Live, they achieve what they captured on record. Their playing is utterly frenetic but they never allow the intricacies of the playing to be lost in the noise. The vocals are often delivered with a snarl or even a scream but they are low in the mix with the instruments taking precedence. This ensures the vocals never dominate or become intrusive as can be the case with other more derivative bands striving for this kind of sound. The most successful songs, however, are when they lower the tempo slightly and the songs become more long form. The drums and bass establish a groove that evolves and subtly moves direction creating a swirl or drone within the sound. That’s when it can take you. You begin to zone out until the guitar slices through again. It was an undeniably impressive set, just not quite long enough at 45 minutes but thrilling enough.