Mar 15, 2010

I’ve been a fan of Nakatomi Plaza (NP) since I got their Private Property album to review back in 2002 for my old zine, actionattackhelicopter. They’ve finally called it a day and decided to release these songs as their last album. For those unfamiliar with them, NP was from Brooklyn and utilized female and male vocalists while the male vocalist also did some screaming now and then. Their music was probably closest to an indie rock or punk rock sound and their lyrics were often political, in an anti-establishment vein, which I always appreciated, as they were written with some attention paid to personal emotions within that political context. However, the new album, while probably showcasing NP at their most introspective and personal, seems to lack much excitement or edginess with their sound. It’s more indie than punk this time around but, unfortunately, Al Fair’s female vocals (which I really like, as they remind me of Caithlin DeMarris from Rainer Maria) seem to be less prominent than Oscar Rodriguez’s male vocals and there are hardly any screams on the album at all (which is fine by me). I suppose that this is a logical progression in sound for NP. Because I’m a fan, I’ll probably find this album growing on me over time, as it has its compelling moments and good musicianship. However, if you want to be introduced to the band, I’m not sure this is the best place to start.

 –kurt (