Monday, June 16, 2014

Tuneyards' Nikki Nak

If you were to summarize Tuneyards (sorry...I'm not typing it the "right" way) in one word, it would have to be experimentation. For no other band around today, so easily and randomly pastes sounds together so successfully. Nikki Nak, Tuneyards latest album is a sonic collage ratcheted together that comes off like the best definition of broken beat you've ever heard. It's a weird album that at times is hard to listen to, but when the glue is holding tight and the sounds blend well, Nikki Nak is a lot of fun.

Tuneyards kind of reminds me of 90's wonk pop masters Laika. A lot of what they do here reminds me of what Laika was doing in the mid-90's with off kilter rhythms, strange arrangements, and a general sense of tonality being chucked out the window. While Nikki Nak doesn't quite have that rhythmic quality that most of Laika's records did, it does share a carefree sense of experimentation. What I really like about Nikki Nak is just how bizarre and random it all sounds. It doesn't make sense at all and it really shouldn't work from a musical standpoint. It's the band's ability to create music in some sort of post-modern atonal way that makes this all so fascinating. Nikki Nak is a struggle between sanity and insanity while being torn apart at the musical seams.

Tuneyards are musical chemists throwing substances together to see what happens. Sometimes things explode in a musical frenzy of goodness and other times the experiments fizzle out. Nikki Nak is a good record because of it's reckless desire to try things out. It's worth a listen and it's enjoyable for what it is but it's not the feel good album of the summer nor is it the sort of thing you listen to back to back to back. I admire Tuneyards creativity but whether or not Tuneyards deserve the hype they've gotten because of their off kilter approach is debatable.

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