The moment I hear “Post Punk” I go straight into happy feet mode and my head starts bobbing back and forth.
Nice Try from Soft Deadlines is filled with slashing guitars and danceable drum and bass work ala Birthday Party, Gang of Four and Wire. The trio of Oliver Lemke(vocals/guitars), Justin Weir(bass/vocals), and Russ Hill (drums), fire-up the wayback machine and give the genre a very good makeover.
“Grinding to a Crashing Halt”, probably my favorite track on the EP, comes out of the gate with lyrics like, “Guess we spilled our guts for nothing”, accompanied by guitar work that remind me of Payolas – you may remember that band from the bar scene in the film Valley Girl. In fact, anytime a band goes Payola on me and rejuvenates the sound: Winner.
Lemke’s vocals and lyrics, in my mind steal the show – his voice is just desperate enough to believe what he is singing about and at the same time, you can hear hope. This isn’t Death Metal, after all.
And what would a post punk record be without a tragic relationship song? “Today is the Day” finds our heroes involved in a seemingly irreparable love affair but instead of taking the easy way out story wise, Lemke, the main songwriter, places the broken heart on the girl even though it was the guy who did the leaving. I like that.
What’s really impressive is that Soft Deadlines is self-recorded Nice Try. Great ear, Mr. Hill, you got those punk and pop kids to cohabitate without fighting.
Here’s where you can find Nice Try and where you can download it at a price you name.