Music Reviews
Because Because Because

Because Because Because

Because Because Because

Pound You Into the Ground Records

Every band has skeletons in its closet; in the case of Nada Surf, those old bones carry more weight than the succeeding facelift. Before “Popular” achieved one-hit wonder status for the Surf on MTV and modern-rock radio, lead singer Matthew Caws and bassist Daniel Lorca formed the other half of the short-lived New York foursome Because Because Because. A footnote in the Alternative Nation revolution of the early ’90s, the band’s recordings collected cobwebs until recently, as founding members Robert Randall and Blake Gomez decided to dust off the lost tapes and finally unleash them on CD. The first offering is a self-titled EP with six tracks that plumb the depths of British post-punk, quite different from the power-pop moves that would later make Caws an indie-rock darling.

It may be unfair to compare Because to Nada Surf, but it’s hard not to see the potential of what could have been. Vocalist Randall is from England, and he sings with much more force and style than Caws ever has. Indeed, on the roaring “Holler,” Randall attacks the chorus with the blunt force of a Louisville Slugger, his thick British accent dripping with venomous angst and deep-seated melancholy. The point of reference here is Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen, whose once-gloomy snarl Randall mirrors here. The music charges forward like the Bunnymen in their salad days as ragged guitars peel the paint from the walls and Gomez’s turbo-charged drumming pushes the beat to supersonic speed. Exhilarating stuff. On “Her Power,” the boys summon the spirit of the Bunnymen’s breakneck rocker, “Do It Clean,” with its rush of slashing riffs and ominous bass.

As one can tell, this EP is certainly a product of its time, perfectly capturing the late ’80s peak of New Wave, when the genre started to splinter into different subgenres like shoegazer and dream-pop. “Muttering Fool” crawls atop slabs of distortion and feedback, sounding like the offspring of Swervedriver and Love and Rockets. “Everything I Burn,” on the other hand, conjures a Wall of Sound borrowed from the Jesus and Mary Chain. “Meet You Today” could have been released in 1984, as it recalls the Gothic majesty of vintage Cure and Tones on Tail. Unfortunately, Because’s lifespan was cut short, leaving us with only leftovers that actually taste much better than the main dish.

Because Because Because:

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