One of the great things about working in a record shop was the fact that you had access to bazillions of records…not all of them great, but there were gems lurking if only you knew where to look. I was the ‘indie’ guy at the store…anything that wasn’t Top 40 or Dance/Soul got passed to me to veto and sometime in 1995 ‘Savage Smile’ was wafted under my nose…and it smelled like victory. It was my single of the year by a country mile. I cannot tell you how good it is, from it’s Uber-Fuzz intro to it’s heavy-plectrum bassline to it’s candyfloss melody to it’s delicious middle eight….hey, I’m a fan.
Nyack’s profile is low. Very low. But their one and only CD, ’11 Track Player’ is just amazing. Yep, it’s shoegazey, but the songs are powerful and melodic and have a purpose and sense of direction lacking in a lot of bands in that genre. Imagine a loose-limbed Smashing Pumpkins or a cheerful My Bloody Valentine and you’re kinda in the ballpark. Nyack don’t rely on their stomp-boxes to do all the work as they’ve stuffed hooklines into the swirling, fuzzed out tunes and topped it all with some Ultra-Pop melodies and a well placed harmony or two. Maybe they were too late for a pigeonhole or too early for one, but why this band fell by the wayside is both criminal and baffling. There are always cheap copies of the album kicking around the web…the going rate on Amazon at the moment is 1p. That makes me sort of furious. If you download the album and like it, you HAVE to buy it. Dig a little deeper on the WWW and you’ll come up with a reference or two to the first incarnation of the band - Aenone.
I’m gonna point you to the Nyack MySpace (remember MySpace...?) for biographical details and tip my hat to Wilfully Obscure for filling in the gaps in my Pre-Nyack collection. Thanks to W.O, I’ve been able to include the Aenone EP ‘Saints and Razors’ and their demos to give you a sense of where they came from. It’s all good. For the sake of completeness (we like completeness, don’t we?) I’ve included their version of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ (from Echo Records 1996 compilation ‘Drink Me’ – also 1p on Amazon) along with the extra tracks from both their CD singles.
I have a dream. I want to be able to say how much I love Nyack to somebody without them replying ‘Who?’
Tonight, we’re gonna party like it’s 1995.