“EP1” by Big Nice is a four-song EP, in case you couldn’t tell from the cryptic and mysterious title. The songs are as honest as the collection’s name, and together are yet another example of the incredible creativity lurking in the bowels of Allston, MA.
Big Nice is the main project of Bradford Krieger, and while I couldn’t find any information about him online, the album’s tags include “Norwood, “ “Boston,” and “major tonality,” which means that he 1, is presumably from Massachusetts, 2, lives in Allston now, and 3, knows enough about music that he knows his album is largely Ionian and also, more importantly, wants people to find happy music on Bandcamp. With the rain pouring outside my apartment, this album was a lovely throwback to warmer months.
The album is quintessentially happy, with clean electric guitars straight out of surf rock and simple sub-four minute songs. It’s produced well, and the guitars come out strong and clear. The drums, often the source of the flaws in recordings, are undistorted, and Krieger’s vocals are easy to hear.
My favourite song is the first one, “Upwards,” which seems the most fleshed-out of all of them, with casually performed backing vocals and the most melodic vocal line.
Krieger is ostensibly the performer of every instrument on the album, in which case he should be commended for track #2, the instrumental “Vino,” which has exciting dynamics, skillful guitar and drum playing, and grandiose harpsichord-esque keyboards at the end.
Track “3 “Ta Dum” is a little annoying by its finale, with an overpowering organ that gets a bit under my skin. The vocals are understated and very far back in the mix; that’s a polite way of saying I can’t understand what the fuck Krieger is singing.
Track #4 “Moss” starts the most low-fi of the four, with a tinny acoustic guitar intro leading into a more produced electric sound very quickly. The song is a minute and a half long and is charmingly innocuous. It’s like that zebra gum that tastes incredible for about seven chews and then assumes the overall sapidity of earlobes.
Setting out to write this review, I never intended to make it a love ode to Boston, but I’m finding it difficult not to. Creativity and originality seem to pour out of the streets of this city, and every Allston shithole has an undiscovered genius writing the most gorgeous and innovative music. The thing I love about it, though, is that we don’t brag about it. No one ever makes stickers or t shirts that read “Allston: Music City;” contrarily, its motto is fucking “rat city.” The underlying quality of amateur and semi-professional musicians in Boston is better than in any city I’ve ever been to, and I feel so god damn proud sometimes to have gone to college here.
Big Nice’s “EP1” is yet another addition to a roster of fantastic and unknown musical accomplishments from the backstreets of Boston, and I can’t wait to hear his next album, likely to be titled “EP2” in the same humble matter-of-factness I love about this city. Listen on Bandcamp here.
3. Ta Dum