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Nice Purse

Black Medal

(So-TM; US: 10 Aug 2010; UK: 10 Aug 2010)

Ragged and low-fi can be sort of monotonous, too

Minneapolis-based Nice Purse specializes in guitar-driven, rough-edged pop songs powered by the ragged vocals and acoustic strumming of ex-busker France Camp. It’s a pity the band saved the best song on their debut album for last—“Panther Like Me” is built around a compelling melody, with a simple chugging rhythm well-suited to the band’s low-fi arrangements (and, it must be said, limited musical chops). To get there, though, the listener needs to wade through a lot of same-sounding tunes. Some, like opener “Heart Medley”, tease something compelling from their decided un-slickness. Elsewhere, the songs bleed into each other, with simple guitar strumming/bashing and strident arrangements standing in for anything more substantial. That said, the bluesy coda on the tail end of “Blacker Water” is mighty fun. Too bad there aren’t more such unexpected change-ups.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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