steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Nice Nice

"Chrome" CD

Temporary Residence Ltd.

Genres: experimental rock,  instrumental funk

Temporary Residence
PO Box 11390
Portland OR 97211

May 17 - 23 2004

Nice Nice's Chrome is the definitive experimental funk album.  I call it that because there's really no other way to describe it.  Most of these compositions are explosive instrumentals, packed with powerful beats, funky basslines, and legions of bizarre experimental noise effects.  There are also some calmer, atmospheric pieces - these are mood-makers, and actually work pretty well in the album's context.  The only concern with these tracks is how long they will stay interesting - the lack of obvious melody will prevent many listeners from finding a space for Chrome in their repertoire.

More often than not, Chrome satisfies.  "Cold Sweat Part XVI" is the exemplary Nice Nice slab of weirdo-funk - bizarre sonic vocal squiggles are dispersed in the confines of a powerfully groovy bass-and-drum rhythmic core.  It's like James Brown, Medeski, Martin & Wood, and The Jon Spencer Blues all thrown together and stirred.  On the other side of the spectrum, we have Nice Nice's more relaxing tracks; the creepy "See-Thru Plastic" and "Bees Make Honey" seem to take the bare components of funk, slow them down to a crawl, and add dashes of experimental noise and ambiance.

Overall, this is a tremendously exciting release in terms of energy content, but it probably lacks the necessary amount of pop-based sensibility to make it truly catch on.  Worth a shot - if you can handle it.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 20 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]