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Künstler: Oh Darling
Label: Creativeworks


Looks can deceive -- possibly intentionally, since the hypersunshiny swirls and colors of Oh Darling's full-length debut effort, Nice Nice, look as if they should be nothing else than a reprint of a lost pop album from 1971, perhaps meant to be in competition with the incipient Partridge Family empire. But Nice Nice is a 2008 effort, and on it the Portland quartet is very much living in its time period, with indie pop/rock that draws on some decade's worth of what that combination of terms can mean. Singer Jasmine Ash has a parallel solo career going with a far more polite, folky approach -- Nice Nice, in contrast, slams in right from the start, thanks especially to drummer Jake. He not only plays well but is recorded in one of the best post-Steve Albini fashions around, and the tactile slam he provides on songs like "Electrocute" helps with the album's immediately winning feel. Ash's singing is attractively crisp and cool without being icy -- Sarah Cracknell's stellar work with Saint Etienne is a reasonable comparison point -- and she handles everything from the quick, nervous slam of "Against the Skyline" to the bigger, slower build of "The Ocean" with equal aplomb. The work of guitarist Davey and bassist J. Marie fills out the band's sound nicely and the result is an unexpected treat, something able and willing to sound modern despite all the past that they have to draw on. No easy thing, and it promises well for the band's future. ~ Ned Raggett