Nitkowski - Stay In The Home You Love
Nitkowski immediately strike me as the band that you either love or you hate and there's a fine line between the two. Listening to 'Stay In The Home You Love' is almost a chore in itself. A psychedelic hearty attempt that should really be more of an instrumental album.
Recorded in such a way as to realistically represent their live sound. Kudos to them for trying, their honesty of their performance and the process of recording is a brave one but in the end the balance ends up sounding as though the vocals and the brief use of using a flugal horn were something added at the end to work as fillers for the album that would sound better as entirely instrumental. Aside from the loss of lyrical...well lyrical anything, it also leads to a distinct loss of energy and liveliness needed in a life performance.
Whilst this is not the kind of music the majority of people would willingly listen to it does have it's own strange bite to it. The first four tracks of the album are unrelenting in every way, jumping rapidly from one platform of screaming noise to the next. But within these strange choices of tracks, track three - 'Competent Adults' - sees some instrumental cross rhythms in which the juxtaposition of instruments is really quite engaging. Track five 'Small Pink Hands' slows down into mid-album territory. A synthetic glide takes the listener into a very modern classical/sixties style rhythmic section. It doesn't stay downbeat and calm for long though, but who really expected it to, as by the time it reaches the end of the track and we're onto the next we're thrown back into the junior school music room with an enraged beast chained to the wall in the next room screaming to get out. It appears as if the vocals have been recorded by accident as they totally don't fit in with the majority of the album's sound.
Nearing the end of the album 'Pall Flag For The Bunting Tosser' has a long instrumental build but flops towards the end as the build up actually doesn't build up to anything at all. Such an anti-climax. Instead, the build returns to the beginning and begins all over again, like a record stuck on a loop from the same part of the song. There's a strange little element to this area of the album however, these two massive builds would work well introducing the album or some of the bigger tracks like 'Strike The Last Flare' yet instead they're placed next to each other and consequently amount to nothing.
I'm not one who would personally go for this album; it seems almost messy and careless in some areas. I will give them the fact that they are brave - going and recording the album completely live is a difficult move that many bands have tried and failed at and here they have managed to keep some dignity in the album. However, much like Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Nitkowski is best kept to a confined space where only the closest of fans and enthusiasts can listen. This album isn't one that could be played in Tesco's over the intercom whilst you do your shopping, no, this album needs to be played loud and preferably live to get the feel of this massive sound that could have so much live potential.
'Stay In The Home You Love' is out now through Function Records.