A.M. NICE: Self-titled: LP

This trio from Cincinnati reminds me of a slightly heavier version of some of the most popular of the Midwest mid-’90s emo bands, like Braid, The Promise Ring, Boys Life or maybe even Hot Rod Circuit or Shiner. A.M. Nice doesn’t sound like any single one of these bands, but instead imagine a mix of all of them, but then add in the heavy, bass-driven rhythm section of Pegboy. Throw in a dash of Dischord records influence. And… that is exactly what this sounds like to me, and it fucking rules. Aesthetically, they get it too, with a ‘90s-style screened cover and insert really pulling everything together. It’s really, really good in a ‘90s throwback kind of way. –Mark Twistworthy (Phratry, phratryrecords.com)