To be honest, many of the rock bands from Indiana I’ve had to deal with in the past have been boring-as-hell nu-metal acts that provide no distinction from the legions of similar bands. The Nancy School come through in bolstering my low opinions about Indiana metal, as the beginnings to “Fancy Title”, specifically “Midshindeep” provide their listeners with a varied and technically proficient brand of metal. The dramatic intelligence of The Nancy School is one of their strongest suit; in tracks like “Song for Arar”, Scotts Neil Peart-esque bass line provide some of the impressive tensions. When it seems as if The Nancy School are going to go down the Disturbed path with their music, their arrangements suddenly break out and move into a Primus vein (that is, chaotic to the degree that one second can sound like “Silent Lucidity-era Queensryche, another Staind, and yet another Tool). At all moments during “Fancy Title”, The Nancy School keep their listeners first, creating a pop-laced sound that will appeal to listeners as least as much as their impressive instrumental arrangements will.
Forty minutes goes by in the blink of an eye, and The Nancy School maintain this lightness of sound with some of the most complex arrangements to be put down on recording media – for example, during “Nijal’s Marching To Moscow”, the vocals flitter above the track while Scott’s bass line would break the hands of any lesser player, all while James’ guitar covers wide swaths of the track, owing much to simplistic (yet resounding) lines. The ability of each member of The Nancy School to work at a number of levels is another bold checkmark in the “good” side of the ledger, as James’ next assignment is really the diametric opposite to the riffs found in “Nijal’s Marching”, as eir’s intricate lines are at the level of Scott’s. Some tracks, such as “Envy Of Movement” gain aa wider audience specifically by the flattening of the nuances that made The Nancy School such a musician’ s band in the past; gone are quite the attentions to detail that really are present during the majority of “Fancy Title”.
The live tracks on the disc (compromising the last two musical tracks) are surprisingly well-mastered, even if the vocals are a little too loud in regards to the instruments. The band shows that they are in no way a “studio” band and do exhibit the same solid sound that is a hallmark on “Fancy Title”. The Nancy School will find fans in To My Surprise and Primus, to be sure and may even win over a few more-gonzo fans of the late Frank Zappa.
Top Tracks: Jennay Say Qwha?, Nijal’s Marching to Moscow
Rating : 6.4/10
The Nancy School – Fancy Title for a Part Time Job / 2004 Self-Released / 9 Tracks / http://www.thenancyschool.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 03 April 2005