The NBT Review 26


Array – Black Nite Crash (on Vinyl and CD by Custom Made Music)

The secret’s in the slow burn.

Opener ‘Revelator’ uncoils itself slow and sinister, with much atmospheric fuzz, rumbles and buzzing, and then the voices, light and dark, she and him, tumble seductive overhead.

By the time the howling pop of ‘Falling Down’ has arrived we accept this elementary darkness as our home and let the songs reveal their soul, bit by bit.

Comparisons to the J and M Chain and The Pixies have been made, but to my mind the band recalls a rougher Spiritualized or a gentler Sonic Youth, (though beware the gentle in these missives, there is a wickedness, wry and wonderful, at play here too.)

The trick is that the music is both thoughtful in that dirty RockNRoll way, and completely, frantically, danceable.

This is a welcome addition to the playlist sounds of any wrong (right) side of midnight deviant dance floor.

Find out more here

Fix – Adam Balbo (independent release)

19 songs in 30 or so minutes, NO!!  This is no retro punk surge, or even some novelty out-take throwaway, but rather a collection of discreet and contemplative miniatures.

Playing with the genre of Stripped down folk, Balbo comes at you with an almost shy warm voice, mixing in humor with a side portion of melancholy and sometimes (when it fits) even bitterness. Sometimes the words flicker and flutter out urgent to get to the conclusion, sometimes given the brevity of the tune; they seem to stroll calmly into storytelling land.

Stand out tune for me is the slightly longer than normal (for this set) ‘Forget About The Crease’ which time shifts an intimate relationship, focusing on tiny movements and fragments of dialogue, it seems to be a song about regret, but regret for something about to happen!

And that is the beauty of the writing here, so much is implied, sketched, and it trusts in our empathy to complete the journey.

A Highly Rewarding Listen

Look Ahead – Chrissy Coughlin (independent release)

Chrissy Coughlin creates a sturdy unpretentious form of RocknPop, utilizing ingredients from rich country music stews and satisfyingly deep rhythm n blues concoctions.

In the tradition of artists like Bonnie Raitt, she creates polished yet also gritty chart friendly tunes, which remain honest, revealing and perceptive.

She is not afraid to share/show the fragile (‘Honestly’) and restrained anger (Watch Your Step) or offer up her love (the title track) this latter tune specially stands out and is destined to be a summer hit, playing from car radios across the nation.

Look out too, for the driving somewhat bluesy cover of Robert Plant’s,’Big Log’ which adds a sweetly harmonic and female slant to the steamy original.

Find out more here

Hear Black Nite Crash on the NBT DarkElectric Podcast

And Adam Balbo + Chrissy Coughlin on this weeks NBT podcast


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