Strange Nightmare: Strange Nightmare | album review

Alex Edkins’ main band, Metz, has steadily moved closer to greater accessibility over the past decade. They never necessarily needed pop melodies, as the band’s beefy post-hardcore punch is sound enough without the need for bells, whistles or any consideration for subtlety. There’s a lot you can do with loud guitars and a bass sound built for demolition, and Metz has proven that throughout their four full albums, as well as various singles and singles.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the ability to write a catchy pop song isn’t one of the tools in Edkins’ arsenal, even if big noise rock episodes aren’t always the way to go. ‘utilize. This is where Weird Nightmare comes in. Edkins’ janglier, a new confectionery project outside of Metz, Weird Nightmare is more Hot Snakes than Drive Like Jehu, more Sugar than Hüsker Dü. Across the 10 tracks that make up the Sub Pop project’s self-titled debut album, Edkins revels in magnetic hooks and brighter, sunnier melodies, explicitly exploring an aspect of his songwriting that was previously mostly implicit.

The brief pulse of a drum machine that starts the opening track “Searching For You” is a fake, and what fills the space in its absence feels more organic and alive. Garage rock by any other name, “Searching For You” is a testament to the inability of loud, reckless rock ‘n’ roll music to ever lose its appeal, but more importantly, when done particularly well, it can be extremely satisfying. From there, Edkins takes a muddier path with “Nibs,” takes a shoegaze detour via Teenage Fanclub on “Lusitania,” duets with Bully’s Alicia Bognanno on the remarkable “Wrecked” and on “Sunday Driver.” , rises via anthemic slow burn.

It’s not like Edkins has given up on his tendency to play loud, urgent rock music – that’s ultimately what Weird Nightmare is, after all. But there’s a luminosity to these songs, a warm, summery extroverted charm that satiates an itch that raw, full-throated pounding just can’t scratch (and, well, vice versa). They’re not just pop songs, they’re really good pop songs, the kind of infectious nuggets that mixtape real estate is all about that reminds you of road trips and wasted summer days. I can’t imagine wearing this one, but I can’t wait to try.

Label: sub-pop

Year: 2022

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weird nightmare review
weird nightmare review

Jeff Terich

Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He’s been writing about music for 20 years and has been published by American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and a few others he’s forgotten about right now. He still never gets tired of it.

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