Oh my God! Freddie Mercury has been exhumed from his crypt and now sings for the hardcore band Knucklesandwich! Well, not really, but the singer for this band has got way too pretty a voice to be singing for such a tough guy group. Taking its cue from New York hardcore bands like Agnostic Front, Fear, and the like, Nice is a delightful record of sing along rockers.
I usually have a fantastic time making fun of tough guy groups like this, but there’s something special about this band. The sound quality of this recording is spectacular. The guitars are just as crisp and biting as the air during a January sunrise. The drums are really big, and recorded so well that each individual cymbal hit can be heard as clear as a bell. The lead singer’s warm yet powerful voice seems to get covered up from time to time, but when we can hear it, the Queen allusion is obvious.
The lead singer, listed only as Richie, tries to make his voice sound tough, but he needn’t bother. He’s got a natural vocal talent. That is, he can actually sing, and sing well. When he lets loose, things are at their very best (see “Amber Waves of Green”). At times, his voice reminds me of Greg Graffin from Bad Religion, but I think that this guy’s got more natural talent than Graffin.
Nice has some impeccable production, making what could have been an average record simply stunning. I must admit, I am pleasantly surprised.
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