I think this is where surf music would be if all the futuristic ’60s predictions came true. This dark and mysterious band sounds as if a very clean-cut and tattoo-free X cut the sound track for an independent movie. The sound is simple – one string guitar by Chris Thatcher, a simple bass line by Dani Seiss, and competent Ventures-influenced drums by Curt Seiss. The difference between N.U.R.B-S and the earlier Ventures/Dick Dale/Beach Boys sound is the difference between LA punk and Phil Spector pop – it’s darker, and reflective of a society without optimism and struggling to get by. While things might get pretty bad, dating and surfing are still options, but the beach is polluted and everyone has an STD.
The album has mostly original material, and a number of songs that sound somehow familiar. “Pan Handle” has the beat of “Pipeline” joined to the county sounding chorus of “When the Rain Came.” The vocal duets between Dani and Chris are haunting, and “The Sea of Love” is the best cut on the disc. Now, if I could get their web site to work, I’d let you know what “N.U.R.B-S” stands for. Right now all I get on Google is “Non-Uniform Rational B-spline,” which is just not the weirdest band name I’ve ever run across.