This is a band and an album that are not easy to review. Nephu Huzzband are one of those few bands that you really have to listen to yourself in order to make your own mind up about them. Some people with love them and others just won’t get them, and if I’m completely honest I am unsure which side of the fence I fall. Like a mash up of Fu Manchu, Fugazi and The Pixies we have twelve tracks that come out punching, blazing in offence and a musical outburst…
Opening track, ‘The Finger That Points’ has some gentle and melodic notes from a slightly fuzzy guitar before the song kicks in. The band will not be rushed into getting to the point, no matter what finger does the aforementioned action. There is a well constructed make up to the songs, that are chipped and carved away. ‘It’s Only Ordinary’ is reminiscent of Frank Black and his crew, and could well be a song by The Pixies. Then in ‘Black & White’ we have a song that is not as easy to describe, bouncing on a chunky bassline and thunderous drum beat. We see that this can border on Post-Hardcore without ever falling over.
With guitars that sound a bit like an alarm, ‘Almost Over’ screams out before turning into a more indie-sounding tune. “I can’t do anything // I wouldn’t change a thing…” the lyrics go and I believe them when they tell me this. Then in, ‘Nurse! Nurse!’ we have a song that is musically great, with some simple and yet affective vocals. A good song. The tempo slows down for, ‘Neptune & Triton’ which amounts to an instrumental song, before the deep guitar riffs lay down the slow headbang of, ‘I The Renaissance’. It’s a song that is part Stoner Rock, part Prog Rock and part Post Hardcore.
When the styles really come together well, they are fantastic like the slightly Punky, ‘…And We Become Picasso Pieces’, that has deep bass, and a melodic guitar riff that jumps into a fuzzy riff, whilst the vocals scream out over the top. Then compared with the rest of the album, ‘Papers’ is almost Pop/Rock being slightly more catchy than the others and certainly more accessible. It’s funny that vocals scream out, the song title of, “We speak in whispers!” on the track of the same name, before the fast-paced and heavy riffed, ‘No, Not Ever!” which is a nice Punk Rock song weighing in a little over a minute. Then in the last song that’s title is made up of no less than fifteen words, the vocals have a slight echo that gives them more depth than anywhere else on the album, and posses the question as to why they waited until the last song to record like this. A nice ending to an album that is just really hard to rate.
Personally, I don’t think that there is enough here for me to get excited about, however I know that the band have previously had two EP’s reviewed here that have been given favourable reviews, so it might just be me not seeing the big picture. That picture would be like one of those Magic Eyes whereby some people see a good picture within a picture, and others just see a load of confusing shapes and pictures. So all in all it’s not bad.