Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Nymronaut - EP (2013)


Think back to how many of your favorite bands were formed. Some, perhaps, were high school friends, coming together to reach for fame and fortune. Some, also, were label manufactured, put together in hopes of becoming the next big thing. Others were the visions of one man, hoping to get his/her message to the masses. But sometimes, the best bands are the ones formed on a late night at the bar, with nothing but good ideas, and good intentions in mind. And so it happened in Berlin, November 2010. You can only imagine what the conversation went.

- Hey Christopher, you still play guitar, right?

- Of course, Bjorn. Why?

- Well, Eloy and I were talking, and got to thinking maybe we could start a band.

- Oh, right, he's a drummer! Ya know, I never thought about that before. We could totally do it!

- Waitress, another round!

And so Nymronaut was formed, a mere two and a half years ago. But on their new EP, the three piece goes beyond their humble beginnings, and delivers something that may have everyone running down to their local pub to find a band.

Finding an immediate groove, the band launches into "Godspeed," showcasing some dense guitar work along the way. With both guitar and bass covered in a thick layer of distortion, you are treated to an interesting dynamic between strings and drums; that is to say, the clean drum tone mixes well with the amp rattling riffs and bass lines. The twang of the guitars just after the three minute mark is a tone setter, evolving into what amounts to a strong finish. What is most intriguing here is the change of stykles from track to track, something illustrated clearly in the shift from "Godspeed" to "Mesa." This is a more driving offering, pushing the tempo and limits of the sonic threshold. The band hold nothing back, but are far from out of control. Everything is laid out in such a precise manner, you feel as though you have a front row seat to the songwriting process itself. Even more than that, the changes elicit a blackout of sorts, making a four plus minute track feel like two minutes. You find yourself checking the run time as the track fades out, before you realize that it was all over that quickly.

The band subscribes to this theory again on "Droide," this time adding a grating bit of effects to the mix. You also find the first appearance of vocals here, which, depending on your viewpoint, may have been missed sorely in the previous tracks. The hazy melodic verse sections are just enough to push the track beyond it's limits, but they are not the deal breaker. Instead, the guitar work steps into another realm, alternating between wavering, staggering solos and driving sludge riffs. It could be said that the band saved the best for last; in this case the eight and  half minute titan known as "H├Ągar" stands as the closer and masterpiece of the EP. The band creates an amazing aesthetic here, even layering in some recorded spoken word segments over the layers of sound. You are again treated to that contrast between shaking riffs and a kick drum sound that is as crisp and clean as any in the business. What remains interesting is the shift between up tempo rock and the last half of the track, which is more drone and doom than anything else on the album itself. It works, in this case, but creates a dangerous precedent for others.

For a band still in their earliest stages, Nymronaut have exhibited a tremendous amount of care and understanding in their music. Their music is refreshing, even drenched in so many layers of distortion and feedback, which is a compliment in and of itself. It's easy to get lost in the messy, yet organized soundscapes of the EP, and even easier to find yourself looking ahead to what they might come up with next. But to stay in the present for just a moment, I struggle to find a description that fits the music performed here. And better yet, I dare not try for fear of pigeonholing an otherwise incredible effort. Instead, it would suffice to say that you have three like minded musicians, with a clear vision of what they want to play, what they can play, and what they hope to achieve. To think that this three piece came together over drinks and ideals; not sure what exactly they were drinking, but whatever it was, keep 'em coming. It certainly bodes well for the future.

9/10

Bandcamp - http://nymronaut.bandcamp.com/
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/Nymronaut

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