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Nada Surf - You Know Who You Are (Album Review)

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 Written by Huw Baines

When does a band’s ability to deliver precisely what you want from them become a negative? In the case of Nada Surf, who are back with album eight some 20 years on from the arrival of their debut, not yet.

‘You Know Who You Are’ is another pristine collection of indie-rock from the band, who have not let the fact that they know what they’re good at stop them from paying attention to their craft. This sounds like an excellent Nada Surf record, meaning that you can expect lilting melodies that will slowly become good friends and an air of loping, unhurried charm.

There are also a couple of welcome surprises. New Bird kicks off with an unmistakable nod to ‘High/Low’, an album that’s now little more than a fondly remembered relic to the band.

Matthew Caws has refined his vocal style a lot since 1996, so its ragged guitars are neatly paired with a soaring power-pop sheen. It’s a nice twist, as are Out of the Dark’s Beatles-indebted horns.

The band, now a quartet thanks to the permanent addition of former Guided By Voices guitarist Doug Gillard, keep things brisk, rattling through the tracklist and making its, clearly meticulously planned, hooks all the more enjoyable as they start to sink in on the second, third or fourth pass.

Lyrically, Caws touches on intoxicating love, wrangles with fate, faith and the idea of hope and, at times, turns inward to find some kinks in the hose. “So much better that we’re not together,” he sings on Friend Hospital. “‘Cause I will not lose you, or be the blues to you.”

Nada Surf are still around and still doing their Nada Surf thing. Try not to be surprised at how much you still enjoy it.

Nada Surf Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat April 09 2016 - MANCHESTER Deaf Institute
Sun April 10 2016 - GLASGOW King Tuts
Mon April 11 2016 - LONDON Dingwalls

Click here to compare & buy Nada Surf Tickets at Stereoboard.com.



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