Kaleidoscopic Experimental Rock
Featuring members of both Envy On The Coast and Dillinger Escape Plan, it may not quite be a supergroup as an experimental collective. Coming from Long Island, NY, NK have a sound that is a real New York musical mix. It is easy to think of the band in terms of how Rock they are, however whilst they currently support Fall Out Boy, another band that has stretched its genre boundaries from one to another, it is better to concur that music is something to be enjoyed on musical merit, and not what it sounds like verses other popular bands.
Opening with the mid-tempo fuzzbox guitars of Confessional and the clean symbol and snare beat, it is a great start. The laid back vocals kickback to the Hip-Hop beat wonderfully. Then the reverberated bass is unleashed and the echoed vocals bounce back and forth, before some deep guitar riffs spill out in Kings. But it is the contrast between these dirty Rock tracks and songs like next track Memo that for me draw comparisons to a band like The Beastie Boys; okay, there are no Rap verses, but those who know the Beasties will be aware of their Punk background, then evolution into sample-only experimentation, before their Def Jam debut, mega-sample follow up, before reverting back to using instruments that had chill out vocal-less jams, next to Hip-Hop cuts, and slices of Punk/Rock. This is a good idea of what NK sound like.
Customer bridges the gap between the first three songs starting out chilled before bringing it up with some Audioslave-esque riffs. Shoulder Gorilla is the lead single from the album and there is something slightly more commercial than the rest of the tracks here, with the verses having a more frantic singing that almost borders on Rap, and musically mixes drums and bass with sampled sounds. After a somewhat pointless interlude, we have the happy high-octive Indie-Pop of Vacation Days that is free from any dirty fuzzy riffs, replaced by organs and harmonies. Then slowing things down and adding a deep beat we have the trippy Synth Rock of X It Out, followed by funky basslines and an organ for the laidback hip-rock of Television.
Switching styles again in Sweetness a nice beat is spoiled by slowed-down talking vocals and I have no idea what the band are trying to do here. This is the sort of thing that I was doing 20 years ago in my bedroom with a record player, two tape decks, a keyboard and a microphone which sounded equally pointless. The album finishes on a high with the full-throttle rock of Set A Fire with a feverish beat and funky vocals.
NK are an experimental band that cannot decide whether to do straight up Fuzzbox Rock, or to indulge in Art-Rock fantasies, bordering on Hip Hop beats with Trip-Hop undertones. The former is their strength but arguably slightly unoriginal, whereas the less mainstream sound, though not as favoured by myself, may well be something that will give them a unique audience. All in all this is fairly middle-of-the-road album and like most groups made up of members from other bands could well be their one and only offering.