The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy
published: 28 /
Engaging and typically seemingly effortless combination of sing-a-long pop accessibility and quality foot-stomping rock on seventh album from New York-based alternative rockers, Nada Surf
Here’s what I love about Nada Surf: they are extremely reliable. When you hear Nada Surf are releasing a new record, you know you are going to get around ten to twelve songs of perfectly crafted indie rock, with just the right balance between sing-a-long pop accessibility and quality foot-stomping rock. It’s a perfect mix, fused and enhanced through the band’s nearly 20 years together. Since their 1996 debut, 'High/Low' – and particularly since their 2005 album 'The Weight is a Gift', a high-water mark for the band in my opinion – Nada Surf have been showing everyone else how it should be done, without meaning to and with seemingly effortless skill.
Their latest and sixth album of original material (they released an album of cover versions in 2010) does not disappoint. Opening track ‘Clear Eye Clouded Mind’ jump-starts with a thunderous riff which might make you think they had put their pop sensibilities on the back-foot, until the familiar and unique voice of singer/guitarist Daniel Caws comes in with a typically catchy Nada Surf melody. Caws’ vocals are an intrinsic part of what makes Nada Surf great; somewhere between delicate and forceful confidence, and always engaging.
In fact, it’s unfair to single Caws out for praise, as any band is only as good as the sum of its parts, and in that regard Nada Surf is truly blessed. The confident, driving drums of Ira Elliott give all the songs an energy and power most bands would probably have to save for one big blow-out per album, while Daniel Lorca’s bass lines are so often the magic ingredients that take what would be a good song and make it a great one.
'The Stars are Indifferent...' doesn’t quite reach the level of perfection achieved by The Weight is a Gift (this would be a near-impossible task, as far as I’m concerned) but it is still a rock album of a such a quality that most bands would struggle to keep up for more than an EP’s length. Ten songs, each an average of three and a half minutes long, the whole album around about forty minutes... it’s essentially a standard for what a good pop album should be. My only complaint is that we had to wait nearly four years for it to arrive. Quicker turn around on the next one please, fellas!
Clear Eye Clouded Mind
Waiting Or Something
When I Was Young
Jules And Jim
The Moon Is Calling
Let The Fight Do The Fighting
No Snow On The Mountain