The independent news organization of Duke University

Music Review: The Nein

Durham-based group the Nein's sophomore album, Luxury, both excites and disappoints. Taking their post-punk influences to the logical next step, Luxury's sound is more cohesive than their 2005 debut album Wrath of Circuits. But despite the cohesion, Luxury lacks the hard-hitting desperation apparent in Wrath of Circuits-much of the urgent distorted bass and snare drum ubiquitous in Wrath is replaced by a quieter nebula of noise on the new disc. Despite this, there are many points in Luxury where the Nein shines-namely, in the melody-driven "Decollage" and "Burn Construction," and the group's most obvious maturation in the radio-friendly "Get Up."

The most apparent attribute of Luxury is its lack of stasis: The Nein is moving forward with their music, and taking the post-punk genre to a new level. However, the problem with the record is exactly that: it is the product of a band in motion, a band searching for and ultimately beginning to grasp their true sound. Because of this, tracks like "Wreck-We-Um-Dub" are over thought and too complex, rendering them ultimately meaningless.

The most noticeable difference with Luxury in comparison to Wrath of Circuits is the lack of a strong ending. Whereas Wrath showcased "Bleeding Elvis" as a last song-clear, strong and arguably one of the band's best recorded songs-Luxury's ending is one of senseless noise, overlapped with frontman and senior Finn Cohen's desperate wailing.

The album is, in the end, if anything, a forecast for a band that will eventually become a leader in experimental rock. But, as it stands, it falls short as a significant release, being at some points masterful but at other times overdone and just too obscure.


Share and discuss “Music Review: The Nein” on social media.