"Nice Tea" CDR
Genres: indie rock, lo-fi, indie pop
Dec 9 - 15 2002
This album only worked properly on some cd players; on others it was
plagued with a bizarre "sound waivering" thing that
gradually got worse as the album progressed. On the cd players on
which it worked, the last few songs were affected with skips and
Nice Tea is the first album by lo-fi indie band Billy
Baru, who obviously know what they're doing. Released on the
newly-formed Agriculture Records (of Dayton, Ohio), this is an
extraordinarily promising debut.
With lo-fi recording equipment and a catchy rock sound, the songs
on this album are fantastic. "Zero to Hero," for example, is
a punk-influenced rock song with a dangerously hummable chorus.
"The Fireball Pt 1 & 2," meanwhile, is more pop-based,
with strong, complicated melodies that are as infectious as heck.
"June 17" brings things down a notch, succeeding as a
calmer, emotional pop song that boasts some real heart-warming hooks.
"I Found The Floor," meanwhile, has a strong resemblance to Mercury
Rev's "Nite And Fog" (listen to one after the other,
you'll know what I mean - the similarities are uncanny).
"A Missed Opportunity" is another gem, made successful by
the use of an eerily dark atmosphere that's definitely got some
Nirvana-esque grunge influences. "The Fire Burned Out"
then warms things up with a joyous, almost carefree feeling that acts
as a vehicle for a fresh, wonderful chorus.
As far as history has dictated, lo-fi music has succeeded best
under the pop banner (Pavement, Guided By Voices, The
Microphones). And while Billy Baru have a considerable
amount of accessible pop stylings in their repetoire, they still come
across as being primarily a rock band. Hopefully this won't hinder the
way people look at them as a lo-fi outfit, however, as they're bloody
The end-of-the year top 20 list is coming soon, and Billy Baru
shouldn't be surprised if they find themselves on it; Nice Tea
is an exceedingly successful lo-fi experiment.
12 tracks; distributed by the