Nephu Huzzband - Papers EP
The first line of the press release for Nephu Huzzband's EP reads thus: "Nephu Huzzband are a young four piece from Nottingham. They make noisy sonic indie using two vocals/guitars, bass, and drums." Hmmm. Now tell me something I couldn't have predicted. The word "indiecore" gets used a lot too. So, despite the exceedingly silly name and uninspiring write-up, I play the EP. And thank god I did.
Whatever doubts I had about this EP quickly vanish. "Indiecore" is a really good description. Ranging from sounding a bit like The Smiths, Sonic Youth, or the Dandy Warhols, this is clearly a band who wear their influences on their sleeves. Not that that's a bad thing. Because what they come out with is something pretty unique. 'Wallpaper' sounds like The Smiths at their best, all jangling guitars and art-rock. It wrong foots you in a way, as you wonder where the hardcore and emo influences are going to come in. Listening to this track away from the rest of the EP, you may as well be listening to a different band, their range is that astounding. Their sound is very eighties inspired, with grungey, echoey recordings, and drum-led riffs. Imagine taking the Stranglers and have them play a goth club, and you still can't quite pinpoint the appeal of this band.
Ah, the emo influences go into overdrive on 'Untitled One', with harsher vocals and a faster pace. Yet the echoing quality remains. 'Destroy Mona Lisa' builds up the layers of sound slowly, like the Dandy Warhols at their most experimental. 'Papers' is probably the hardest track on the EP. Sounding not unlike 'Untitled One' it's difficult to tell if this is because they use the same formula of building riffs and short bursts of vocals, or if there's some copying going on. That's the only problem with this group – they obviously have the ability to be experimental and create new sounds and ideas like very few other bands today, but they haven't here. The tracks all use the same echoey sound and constant riffs. Yes, it's good, but it's easy for the tracks to merge one into the other.
There's no other word for it. Progressive. Nephu Huzzband combine so many influences that they actually manage to sound unique. So ignore the name and give these guys a chance if you're looking for some eighties inspired indie with a modern twist.