In 202, it’s that most anything is possible in music – especially if you’ve got the talent and the tenacity to put ideas onto paper. Pushing the boundary in a fashion that a lot of their contemporaries just can’t keep up with at the moment is The Nylon Admirals, a band whose new record Drama is scoring points with all the right people this summer (this critic included). Drama visits the electronica gods with a handful of intensely diverse offerings that sacrifice no tonality for tempered accessibility, and nowadays, that’s actually something I would refer to as a rarity in itself.
I really dig the underlying simplicity of the grooves in “Superluminal,” “Oyster” and The Nylon Admirals’ cover of “Black Hole Sun,” not because of what they do for the beat but more because of how adeptly they use the adjacent cosmetics to deceive us. We’re constantly being lured into a false sense of security in Drama, and whether this comes through a synth part or a piano melody that chains into a pop hook, there’s never a moment in which the compositional faceting is being manipulated into anything other than pure, unfiltered and charismatic noise for our pleasure.
You can’t be a music critic and dismiss the production quality in tracks like “From Simbel to Scutari,” “I Have to Go Now” and “The Blind Watchmaker” as being anything other than gorgeous from beginning to end. This is a good example of pro varnish being utilized and necessary to drive home the point a band is trying to make; rather than plying the hooks with a lot of unnecessary bells and whistles, it’s noteworthy that The Nylon Admirals are leaning on the sound board exclusively to amplify elements in their sound otherwise under the radar in any other setting.
For Drama being their debut LP, this group of musicians sound remarkably connected and well-versed in each other’s styles of play here. Their chemistry is off the charts, and if it’s something they’re able to bring with them onto the stage once live music returns to the world, I think they’re going to be in a good position to poach away some of the crowd from their bitter rivals in the Seattle underground. This is an amazing look for a greenhorn disc, and it leaves me wondering what their sophomore effort is going to sound like for sure.
Experimental and traditional electronica fans should both put this Northwest-imported album at the top of their must-listen lists this summer, if for no other reason than to find out what all of the buzz the band is getting has really been about. The Nylon Admirals are a young group still finding their place in the hierarchy of indie electronic outfits on the west coast, but if I were to judge their future based solely off of what they say in this first record, I would tell you to prepare for a lot more excitement to come from their collaborations together. Sooner than later, this band is going to find the primetime spotlight.
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