Monday, July 4, 2011

Free Album: The Nico Blues- Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements

As a member of the Echo Boomer/Millenial generation, alternative rock from the 1990's holds a special place in my heart. A huge, achingly nostalgic spot in my right ventricle that throbs and pulsates with the slow building intro on Cherub Rock when Siamese Dream is played, flutters when someone actually remembers Hum, and skips a beat when someone asks, Who is Layne Staley? To me, it was the last era of rock and roll that mattered and, at the risk of sounding like a Rob Gordon-like former college DJ that mainlines Sonic Youth b-sides, I love when its remnants get dug up and used in music today.

A few flanneled and forgotten fossils of the early 90s were recently discovered in a basement in New York by an unknown yet quintessential alternative rock quintet known as The Nico Blues. Mixing the classic distorted roots of alt-rock with hints of Pavement, Mudhoney, and the more recent Silversun Pickups, The Nico Blues' debut album, Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements, is a sublime combination of vintage college rock grunge and new era alternative pop.  

Celebrating the DIY ethos, The Nico Blues recorded, produced, and mixed the album in their home studio; however, the final product might surprise you. Instead of the endearing tape hiss kissed debuts and demos of the 90s, TNB's humble beginnings sound professional, cohesive, and seasoned. Their 9-track arrival sounds like a veteran band's departing opus with standout singles "Living Proof", "Three's a Crowd",  and "Folk Song #2". Unlike many newborn bands from the past and present day, their debut album doesn't come off as a charming yet disjointed peek into their future potential. Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements listens as a grand accession to the alternative rock genre and feels like a cure for a 90s kid's broken heart.

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