That Devil Music
Rochester’s Nod’s sound, as offered on their Carbon Records release So Much Tonight, is more melodic, with just a bit of rattle and hum in the grooves. With off-kilter vocals and fractured guitar riffs, Nod’s “X-Mas Song” reminds a lot of Brian Eno’s early, rock-oriented solo albums like Here Come the Warm Jets. The album’s next two songs, “Go For A Ride” and “Time For Tea,” were seemingly inspired by David Byrne and the Talking Heads, but with some important added creative flourishes. The vibrato-laden guitar licks of the former simply jump out of your speakers and hit your ears like a cross between 1960s-era surf music and early swamp-blues while the latter song features a similar Byrnesian vocal style but fretwork straight out of the Robert Fripp songbook.
Nod’s “Rollin Around” is probably the most conventionally rocking number on the biscuit, with a heady underlying rhythm and jade-like shards of electric guitar but the title track paints a discordant, dystopian sonic landscape with cacophonic rhythms, crashing percussion, and jagged, nightmarish fretwork. Even if it evinces a begrudging recognition to the classic rock form, Nod’s So Much Tonightis still noisy and full of unexpected thrills, firmly fitting within the Carbon Records footprint and is another great choice for the adventuresome listener. The third LP on my Carbon playlist is from another Rochester band, Hinkley, who is probably the anomaly on the label’s roster.