One Louder

The Nadas

Authentic Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Well, it looks like it's been over a decade since the longtime Des Moines rockers The Nadas has graced us with their presence (see our 2005 review of Listen Through The Static), and it’s about time they were brought back. An outfit that has been called 'The Best College Band You've Never Heard' by at least one major publication (though they're still pretty obscure), The Nadas is still just as great as they were in the '90s. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

After starting off with loud guitars and crashing percussion, the opener “If Everything Goes My Way” finds a firm garage rock and punchy rock 'n' roll angle with some aching pedal steel. “Rita's Hook” follows and is more in line with '90s college rock, where strummed acoustic guitars are matched with warm vocal harmonies, and “Time To Time” is a moody bar rocker. There's then a swift turn into the wispy, lonely “Roses,” a lovely soft and dreamy rocker, while “Another Verse, Another Rhyme” keeps things on the introspective side to help the first half end as colorful and accomplished at it began.

The second half of the album digs deeper into a more roots rock feeling with the rugged “Left Hand Man,” which moves into the soulful soft rock of “I'm Only Lonely For You.” Near the end, “Henry James” is one of the quirkiest tunes here, featuring some keyboards and a steady beat, and “I'm Still Here” brings in a mountain rock influence and bluegrass feel that finishes at a very different but no less compelling place than the album began.

Bands like Nada Surf and The Old 97's come to mind here when listening to the Nadas, and the album is as precise as one would expect considering it's their eleventh LP. If you haven't made yourself familiar with this fine Iowan band, don't waste any more time. Alt-country, modern rock, and folk rock are all delivered here with top notch musicianship.

Rating: A-

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© 2018 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Authentic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.