If there is not a tremendous seventies influence bringing Nagg to the studio for each track on this record, I would be amazed. There is more than a subtle hint of AOR rock here that seems to also grab some of their early punk (Undertones, Generation X) and moderates it slightly for current consumption. The production on this album is impeccable; the shrill guitars present on “Another Day” seem to be taken from the Zappa side of things. However much they seem to scream Zappa, they are recontextualized for a track that is at least somewhat serious.
Each of the tracks on this album are short, which shows an important strategic move done by Nagg; the tracks here really rely heavily on repetition and just cannot support four or five minute constructs. At their current time (about three minutes), Nagg can hit hard and leave quickly. There are tracks that succeed better than others; “Endless Sleep” tries to come forth as the purveyor of a catchy, hooky chorus but seems to never really establish a catchy sound. To be honest, a great number of these tracks have a great, raucous sound to them; for Nagg to have one weak track amongst so many other interesting ones shows the fact that they are human, instead of a computer writing and placing all the band’s constituent parts together. “Gimme Somethin’” is a nice reversal of fortunes for the band; the guitar works with a set of hooks that immediately bore themselves into a listener’s head, while the drums that back the guitar up are simplistic and hard-hitting in their own way (and approximate those of The White Stripes more than anything).
Nagg actually moves for a moment into a seventies/eighties hybrid; “She’s in Love With You” mixes the very bouncy tempo created by acts like ABBA with the catchy vocals found in acts like the Go-Gos. The fact that Nagg can come up with a different style and run with it so late on this album is a testament to their talent; a band can do one style great and still be indistinguishable from the masses, but a diverse band doing a number of styles well will undoubtedly get the fame that they deserve. The disc may be a year and a half old but don’t let that fact be a deciding factor on picking up the album; it still is fresh and bristling with energy; Nagg has carried the day here.
Top Tracks: Gimme Somethin’, She’s in Love With You
Nagg – S/T / 2004 DRR / 12 Tracks / http://www.nagg.net / http://www.dollarrecord.com / Reviewed 17 February 2006