The Nightmare River Band’s Last Goodbye comes charging out of the gate with all the restraint of a bull let loose from a pen. The music here is fiery and beer-battered. The Nightmare River band combine the best elements of American music, from punk attitude to pop sensibility. There’s moments where they sound like an Americanized Weakerthans and others where they sound like an epic version of the Violent Femmes. It’s pure exhilaration. All of the songwriting throughout is spectacular and shapes these songs into vibrant slices of life. They feel honest and they feel real. From the open love letter to Mary on “Mary” to the reference-heavy “Walk On” to the cracked and brutal sentiments on the brilliant closer, “Why Don’t You Love Me?”. It all feels timeless. Last Goodbye is one of 2012’s most pleasant surprises and one of 2012’s absolute best.