Review Summary: Nothing groundbreaking, just a fun, catchy, breath of fresh air in the Long Island music incest pool.
When Pop-Punk band The Movielife
split in 2003, guitarist Brandon Reilly decided to form a new band where he would take on the duties of lead vocals. Thus spawned another (lesser known) band to be added to the New York/Long Island incest pool. That band was Nightmare Of You, a soft Indie-rock band with catchy hooks and vocal melodies that are just begging you to sing along.
Their debut, self-titled album was released in 2005, a quiet year for Indie music in Long Island, and provided a breath of fresh air to the scene. With it's upbeat, poppy tunes listening to the album is effortless.
Starting out with an almost 'cute' guitar riff 'The Days Go By Oh So Slow' gives an instant taste of the direction of the album. It's fun, upbeat and happy, Brandon's voice captivating in it's own way. The song gets a bit repetitive during the end but is a good intro to the album. The first track is contrasted nicely by the less uptempo, yet still poppy, 'Dear Scene, I Wish I Were Deaf', a well crafted song that quickly delves straight into an addictive chorus that leaves you hanging out through the verses just so you can hear it again. Toward the end of this track Brandon attempts at some minor vocal acrobatics which subtly add a some character to the song.
It took many listens of 'Thumbelina' to understand what this somewhat vulgar song was referencing, it's based around the novel 'Even Cowgirls Get The Blues'. Lyrics are creative and interesting, vocals rich with a deep harmony and chord progressions fun and original. As we get toward the end of the track it becomes quite evident a pattern of what appears to be simplicity throughout the first few songs emerges, but you should find that you will find something new and different hidden within these songs with each listen, especially on this track.
We find ourselves hitting a low point with 'My Name Is Trouble' heavy on synths and a little unoriginal, seems all round generic and it just doesn't fit with the rest of the album. Fortunately this decline in the album is only 4 minutes long and is quickly made up for by 'Why Am I Always Right' playfully cynical lyrics fuel the very subtle angst of the song, that angst paralleled with the poppy power chords embraces you for the duration of the track.
The album slows down a bit for 'I Want To Be Buried In Your Backyard' a haunting, bass powered intro/first verse partners with Reilly's rich vocal so well that it's hard to stop listening to, with quirky and interesting lyrics this song is definitely one of the better tracks. Another quick paced up tempo intro and we are thrown into 'Ode To Serotonin'. It's almost as if Reilly's objective is to take serious themes and make them into these happy and quirky pop songs, if it is, it works. The lyrics are deep and personal yet the music that carries them is completely opposite although you still receive the intensity intended in the song. 'Ode To Serotonin' is short and sweet and leads into 'Marry Me', a bluesy song with a country feel, there's nothing really special about this song and if it weren't so short I could see it being skipped a lot.
'In The Bathroom Is Where I Want You' begins the home stretch of the album, you will notice what this album is lacking is the majority of songs don't have layers, it's all very straightforward. This changes on this song, each instrument plays a prominent role and introduced is a more creative structure of songwriting, that broadcasts contrasted light and shade in melody, another highlight. 'The Studded Cinctures' starts out and appears to be a filler track, however keep listening as the song only goes up, it builds into an infectious number riddled with some great instrumentation and great vocal moments.
Ambience radiates from the closer of the album, brushed drums give 'Heaven Runs On Oil' a western hoedown feel. Again we see layers in this song, some nice harmonica work in spots throughout the song, who knew bluesy riffs and fun pop music could work so well together. Terrific finishing song with a depth not showcased in other songs on the album.
While Nightmare of You is nothing groundbreaking, there Is no denying that it is fun, ridiculously infectious and refreshing to see that this band isn't taking themselves too seriously.
Why Am I Always Right
I Want To Be Buried In Your Backyard
In The Bathroom Is Where I Want You
Heaven Runs On Oil