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CD Review: The Nice Ones 

click to enlarge The Nice Ones'  The Hungry Ghosts
  • The Nice Ones' The Hungry Ghosts

Since relocating from their origins in Northwest Connecticut to the Dutchess County town of Millerton, indie-prog outfit the Nice Ones have been taking the town the New York Times once dubbed "Williamsburg on the Hudson" by storm. But if you are thinking this competent quartet of outstanding musicians can be pegged as the area's resident answer to the National, you would be doing a great disservice to the band and their acerbic spin on the indie-rock idiom.

There is a myriad of styles within the construct of their all-too-brief five-song EP Hungry Ghosts. If you listen to songs like "Ava" and "Black Haired Stranger at the Charlotte Airport," you can definitely hear an affinity for the Dismemberment Plan's more pop-oriented fare, while the slinky funk of "Big Sexi" undoubtedly shows why they are welcome at Darryl's House Club. Meanwhile, the influence of Frizzle Fry-era Primus is highly evident in the hard-driving bass pops of the group's resident four-string whiz kid, Dillon Morrison Halas, on the EP's most impressive cut, "Dogs." The glue that holds these tunes together, however, is the commanding combination of guitars and vocals from Patrick "Pastor Dan" Surdam, who is on his way to landing himself a place alongside Be Bop Deluxe's Bill Nelson and Television's Tom Verlaine with the seamless way by which he pulls double lead duty. Indeed, it will be interesting to see what these Nice boys do across the din of a full-length LP. Theniceones.bandcamp.com.

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