Nightmare Soda – Pow Wows

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This wicked cool Toronto-based four-piece has already amassed a notable following among indie music fans and bloggers in Canuckland, and with good reason. Those in the know in Canada need to spread the word abroad because these guys represent something we need a lot more of in rock and roll right now: free-wheeling imagination, and songwriting talent.
This album was originally self-produced/self- released, and has now been re-released by Get Hip. Being compared to the legendary Simply Saucer and The Monks is way high praise, indeed, but it doesn’t seem like a burden on them. Get Hip is calling it “flower punk,” whatever that means, but it’s something much more than that. When I hear the first organic strains of 60s-style dirt-punk leaking out of the speakers I immediately think of Mudhoney, and it’s rare that one can say that these days, but soon after that it becomes clear they are not just mere imitators or pretenders.
“During the Flood” is super-fucking righteous garage rawk, as things build to an uber-fried freakout, sort of like a tighter Black Lips at times, but with less of the built-in “look at me” self-awareness, and they hold back just a little, never shooting their wad prematurely. “Do The Splash” has a cagey back and forth rhythm and a grease-punk texture. “Séance” gets rather loose, and has a slightly creeped-out vibe going on underneath the melody. I could rightfully rave about every song here, in some way or another, but, I suppose, I need to leave some surprises. On one level, I think it’s valid to ask the question: if you dig rock music, how can you not like this? The entire concept and execution is basically beyond reproach. Nightmare Soda will be on my list of the best albums of the year. It’s also available on 180-gram vinyl.