Innovative And Quirky Debut
Eclectic, progressive and mostly definitely innovative, the bizarrely named Nephu Huzzband is a band that is hard to sum up. Never hanging around long enough to earn a genre label to be slapped on them, the four piece take every style going and proceed to throw the kitchen sink at it just to make sure each track has that little extra twist, even their debut album, ‘Live In London’ is something out of the ordinary, but then what else would you expect?
The live album is often something tackled by a band a few years into their careers, a few albums down the line after they have accumulated a strong fan base and has a gap in their diaries to fill before the next record is released. Strangely Nephu Huzzband seem to have ignored the history of the live album, turning things completely upsidedown as they decide, (wisely or naively, the jury is still out) to make their debut release a collection of recordings from a gig at Dublin Castle which funnily enough is in London, hence the ‘Live In London’ name tag. But Nephu Huzzband’s idea of a debut live album isn’t entirely insane; five of the seven tracks on ‘Live In London’ have already amassed support as either singles or B sides and are therefore well known to the fans making ‘Live In London’ an album brimming with established fan favourites and harbouring only a few, welcomed surprises.
‘Live In London’ does take some time to warm up, opening track ‘Lions, Tigers and Bears’ is perhaps a little downbeat and lacklustre to really set things alight. Luckily, the wonderfully titled ‘Should Have Used An Abacas’ is waiting in the wings to ignite things as disjointed guitars jerk around haphazardly crashing drums amidst wailing vocals that work to bring a wave of disorganized genius to the track. Vying for title of the year, ‘Either The Wallpaper Goes Or I Do’ breezes in with a sedate saunter of carefree insolence that breaks to reveal a jaunty dose of quirky indie fused shrieks to delight before ‘…And We Became Picasso Pieces’ cheekily lulls you in with a gentle intro that erupts in an aggression filled mess to scare and bewilder.
Bravely making their debut a live recording, Nephu Huzzband have certainly managed to stand out from the crowd, it’s just a shame their crowd didn’t want to help proceedings. Whilst the venues acoustics seem to have helped the band, giving the album that essential ‘live’ feel without adding a wall of fuzzy noise, the crowd appear lacklustre, if indeed you can hear them at all, and sadly it takes away from the live vibe the band are striving for.
Inventive and with a progressive streak that they boldly flaunt in everyone’s face, Nephu Huzzband are a band that you won’t fail to notice. Having shipped 1000 free copies of ‘Live In London’ to the troops in Basra, you can’t help but wonder the effect their unruly, quirky gawkiness is having on the front line. An innovative and unconventional debut, just a shame the same can't be said for the crowd.