“How dare you! How very fuck'n dare you....Richard Dawkins?..Richard fuckin' wankers, challenge me...You think you're clever...I will fuck you up... I will intellectually spin you around completely.” 'Man outside Cumberland Arms, Byker, 11/07/11' rises from carrier bag swirl to full-on hurricane on top of what appears to be a field recording of a drunken schizoid existentialist outburst. I'm taken to the heart of Nately's darkness, somewhere between Psychoville and Mike Leigh's Naked.
Some fucker's been on Wikipedia. Named after a character symbolic of corrupted purity in Joseph Heller's Catch-22, they embrace the sonic experimentation of Radiohead, but recognize the destructive power of Jus Oborn-heavy guitars. There are no Italian horror references, TRVE patches, pyramids with eyes or thrones. Nately's Whore's Kid Sister find plenty of menace in more everyday places.
The most impressive thing about 'Ribs' is how it consistently does the quiet/loud thing while remaining sonically interesting and unpredictable. A slew of bands are getting handy with riffs and skulls, but end up sounding like they're dicking about, like it's just good fun. Fuck that! This is being coughed up from somewhere deep inside them, just as a debut should; the scenery can be beautiful, but you feel they could snap at any moment. 'Just Below the Ribs' starts with full-voiced detuned alt-folk chords and ends as a concrete mallet of doom. The vocals accent the explosions in the songs more subtly: as 'Babies' Tempo House bassline turns a dark, nasty corner, the alluring coo of the verses switches to a pained, yet tuneful cry of 'I preferred it when you lied!'. Then that instrumental; the desolate music in unsettling proximity to the deranged anger of the recorded monologue.
The only thing preventing me throwing maximum beards at this like hairy confetti is 'Fix My Corrections', which, try as it might through multiple plays, can't persuade me that it's any more than a half-formed indie rocker. 'Regards, Bison' ensures the baton is not dropped, with spooky echoes, squalid pillow talk and slow riffs that could dissolve horses. This EP is packed with turbulent emotion, and NWKS promise to make waves that are felt from Reading to Roadburn.
Posted: Tue 1 May 2012