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Big Nils: Noisy Punk From A Real Sonic Youth

Big Nils sound like early Public Image Ltd on (harhar) "Gimme More" and it is a pretty good sound as well but that's not why they are signed to Geffen. They are signed to Geffen because Coco Moore is Thurston Moore and Kim Gordons of Sonic Youth's daughter.

Me? I'm all for nepotism, if you can't take advantage of famous parents, what can you do with them? Plus, Coco has a good anti-tune voice, declarative and powerful. So figure Poly Styrene fronting PiL after listening to the Raincoats.

That's right. Big Nils sound like punk around 1979 when the Fall, ATV, Swell Maps were putting rock on its head. The melodies are none existence, Coco sing speaks, everything thunders but not metal thunders, it is like a distorted bend. Their FB bears the legend "cocos notebook she wrote in when she was 11 created us". Perhaps that's true ,because lines like "doesn't anybody have the time, I feel like I'm losing my mind" ain't gonna get you invited to the Prom, and a song called "Herpes" is yucky in the extreme.

But the first album as a whole, Siblings, isn't yucky at all.

The pleasures here aren't slight if only because they are so far off the deep end. They remind me of Americans In France circa Prezylvania in their outre culture. And, though Coco is obviously the leader, still equally obviously Big Nils are a band -the other three members are not negligible. Sometimes it is bass played Lilly Daiber taking the lead, sometimes guitarist Zoe Wardlaw, and always the excellent drummer sen morimoto.

As it happens, I don't like Sonic Youth very much (a coupla crap concerts put me off) but I do like Big Nils a lot. "Deep Dark Death"  which uses silence a third of the way through has an anxious pull to it that is quite alarming. "Beep Beep Boop Boop" lives up to its name and the first two songs, "Gimme More", which opens the album with a Jah Wobble like bass line, and "Screamer" which does, pulls you and keeps you quickly.

But is Geffen the place for them?

Coco Moore is fashion model attractive, by which I mean she is arresting and pretty rather than traditionally attractive (think a young Chloe Sevigny), her parents are rock deity, and her band is pretty good. How will Geffen really help? How will they promote the band? This is alt rock, indie chart bound. Sub Pop, Merge, even a Don Giovanni, would know how to promote Big Nils. Geffen? If they push Big Nils as a pop band, they're dead. As a rock band? Dead as well. This is art-rock post punk.

Finally, I know I started this by supporting nepotism (if you can't go to the mall with your Mom without being interrupted, you deserve the perks), still I would like Sibling with or without it parental guidance. Grade: B+

Here is the link: http://bignils.bandcamp.com/album/sibling

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