Montreal powerpunks The Nils released my second favorite album of 1987 with their debut. The first was The Replacements’ “Pleased To Meet Me“, but if my memory serves me right, I wore out each record equally.
The Mats of course cemented their legendary status with “Pleased To Meet Me“, while The Nils, well the road to fame is paved with bands that should have been big but got screwed by outside powers.
As debut records go The Nils album is flawless in my opinion, with no throwaway tracks and quite a few jaw dropping classics, and it was critically acclaimed upon its release on Profile Records. But in the midst of the North American leg of their tour, Profile went bankrupt, the tour was cancelled and The Nils were thrown into limbo.
Five years later they were finally legally able to continue as The Nils, but pretty much all the momentum had been stolen from them and grunge had taken over the world. They released a compilation in 1994 and an EP (as Chino) in 1999 before reforming as The Nils in 2002 and working on new material.
Sadly in 2004 singer/guitarist Alex Soria ended his life at 39 years.
In the end The Nils legacy remains strong, particularly because artists like Superchunk, Goo Goo Dolls and Bob Mould would state the Nils influence on their respective sounds. They are recording and touring again, with Alex’s brother Carlos at the helm and released the long-awaited second record – “Shadows and Ghosts” in 2015.
Now, for its 30th anniversary the debut is getting the royal treatment from Canadian vinyl purveyors Label Obscura who are releasing a deluxe remastered LP, available on vinyl for the first time in decades. It features new artwork from Yorodeo (the visual art collective of Dog Day’s Seth Smith), a gatefold jacket with archival photos, and liner notes by Jack Rabid, editor of New York’s influential music zine The Big Takeover. A series of live performances from the reformed Nils will follow throughout October.
This record still sounds amazingly fresh and vibrant. Proof of the power of brilliant songwriting. Order HERE!
Photo: Rick McGinnis