One of the things that has been missing in a lot of today’s alternative rock, is the mystery. It seems like every indie band wears their influences on their sleeve (or t-shirts). Not mystery as in pretentious front men wearing masks, shrouding his or her appearance as some sort of fashion statement or diversion from the lack of talent or stage presence, but mystery as in the legitimate unknown. When listening to such bands as Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, and even early Nine Inch Nails, some of the appeal came from not knowing where each song was going to take you next. That same mystery that has been missing for so long is back with Fever the new 7″ from the Austin Texas alt-electronic band The Nimbus.
Fever is the first vinyl single released by The Nimbus and features two songs that have all of that said mystery, plus the dark, twisted temptation that makes industrial music so interesting the first place. Even though the two tracks featured on the EP feature distorted synth bass, abrasive beats, and larger than life soundscapes, both songs are far from being too heavy to enjoy the subtle nuances of pop sensibility. There are flavors of New Wave, Industrial, Alternative, Shoegazing and many more genre hopping influence sprinkled within this release, creating a unique blend of poise and attitude.
The title track “Fever” begins with a simple landscape of trip-hop-esque beats and keyboard riff, coupled with a smooth vocal hook reminiscent of both Trent Reznor and David Bowie, and builds tension leading up to the chorus that is just as much dangerous as it is alluring. The song continues to build upon those layers and features a gritty distorted bass solo that brings everything together in a nice dark package that would satisfy any fan of the gothic industrial bands from the 90s. The B side “Little White Lies” begins with a menacing synth bass intro that leads into a melancholy groove of reminiscent of God Lives Underwater with it’s sinister intentions hidden behind sing-song vocal line. Every pulsing minimalist beat is answered with an explosive hook with torment, anger and sultriness.
Both songs on Fever may be influenced by electronic and industrial acts of the past but still manage to sound fresh and unique. Sometimes minimal and something explosive (like the outro for Little White Lies with it’s demented loops and gothic organ solo) The Nimbus sound like no other group on the scene. If this 7″ is any indication, this is going to be an act to keep an eye on within the next few years. Recording brooding industrial tracks with vocal hooks is no easy task, especially without sounding pretentious or over the top but these guys have already honed their craft as much as any seasoned established act of the genre in the past 30 years.
Fever will be available through the band’s official site in digital format as well as being released through Flippin’ Records exclusively on September 18th on a couple different, limited edition vinyl variants. Hearing this EP on vinyl with really good headphones would be my personal suggestion but they are only available in limited numbers so you might want to act fast on that! The Nimbus are single handedly making industrial and alternative rock interesting again and after wearing this release out, I can’t wait for a full length LP in the future!
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Purchase Fever on limited edition vinyl at Flippin’ Records