CARRIE NATIONS: Be Still: LP

As opposed to playing in an arena and hiding behind your pyrotechnics, I think it’s a lot harder to play shows in people’s living rooms or basements. It takes something out of the ordinary to be able to play just a few inches away from the audience, and it takes even more than that to make an avowed head-bobber like myself actually want to dance. Carrie Nations have that in spades. What do they sound like? Take a glob of sorta weird, sorta poppy indie rock, like a really good Guided by Voices song, and imagine that as your peanut butter. Smoosh it between two slices of gritty, dirty, sweat-and-beer-soaked DIY punk rock (let’s say the Jack Palance Band on one side and the Grabass Charlestons on the other). Grease the whole affair with a knack for subtle yet deep-sinking hooks (like Archers of Loaf), throw it on the stove (which I guess represents the record player in this strained metaphor), and you’ve got yourself a fine, fine sandwich (or record, whatever). It’s fun, it’s enjoyable, and it makes the world a little bit more tolerable. I’m hoping that the next time I see this band play, they’ll make it through more than five songs before the cops show up.

 –josh (Bitter Like the Bean)