Nassau: Machines to Paradise

[26 February 2007]

By Jason MacNeil

Nassau is a Canadian band that could make a name for itself a la Arcade Fire, Stars or Broken Social Scene. But the group relies on a lean, gritty and stellar brand of rock that would do well alongside The Strokes, Spoon and the Velvet Underground on the straightforward “Pounding on the Cave”. Led by brothers Chris and Jon McCann, the band aren’t about creating rich sonic landscapes, but simply getting down to the gist of the rock tunes, tunes that have that primitive, foot-stomping quality about them on “Captain”. There are no lags or filler on this record, which is another plus, although the dreamy “Sleep” does take its time getting off the ground. It’s one of the few aberrations however as “The Water Below” is a punchy pleaser that winds around elementary rock riffs and has color added from some harmonica solos. Nassau also seems to have a slight fascination with early Pink Floyd on “Fairies”, the spacey but gorgeously executed “There Are Birds” that plods along with a heady buildup and continues on “Epic Skeleton” that seems to be the second half of “There Are Birds”. The album’s bombastic number has to be the booming “The Perfect Place” that is great.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/nassau-machines-to-paradise/