Pin It

CD Review: Vampire Proof 

click to enlarge (2012, Independent)
  • (2012, Independent)

NCM is shorthand for non compos mentis, which translates from Latin as an unsound mind. While this New Paltz band sings enthusiastically of hallucinations and imaginary conversations, the tightly crafted arrangements and harmonies are quite lucid, if turbo-charged, with pile-driving rhythms. On this, the band's third full-length, NCM's nucleus of Pete Crotty (guitar/vocals) and T-Milt (drums) reprises many songs from its 2007 debut, Escape from Myopia, with production and instrumental contributions from Earl Slick (David Bowie). The arrangements of the songs here don't differ significantly from the versions on that release, but the mix does boast a fuller, more muscular hard rock sound.

The opener, "Change the Conversation," blasts out of the gate with some mighty low-end bass and Chuck Berry-style riffing. It's a song in which the hooks latch on and don't let go, the perfect score for a rock 'n' roll Saturday night. The yowling dissatisfaction of rockers like "Bah Bah Dead Sheep" and "Dissolution" are leavened with a folk-country streak, exemplified on the optimistic "Apples," which features an earnest vocal by Crotty and is punctuated by plaintive steel and acoustic guitar. The opening bars of "Unwound" deceptively resemble the beginning of the Jackson 5's "ABC"—before the crunch of the electric guitars kicks in and drops out briefly for some girl group-like vocal refrains. NCM, a veteran act of three national DIY tours, is adept at putting in sly musical references of this sort, making genre pigeonholing difficult.

Speaking of...

  • J.K. Vanderbilt Opens for Matt Pond PA
  • J.K. Vanderbilt Opens for Matt Pond PA

    This local musician performs at Old Dutch Church in Kingston, opening for Matt Pond PA on December 3.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Nightlife Highlights: Matt Pond PA
  • Nightlife Highlights: Matt Pond PA

    Singer-songwriter Matt Pond and his band perform a record-release show for his album, Winter Lives , at Old Dutch Church December 3.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Matthew Shipp Trio
  • Matthew Shipp Trio

    Newman Taylor Baker, Michael Bisio, and Matt Shipp bring their Jazz-infused sound to St. Andrew's Church December 3.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »
  • Jeremy Schwartz reviews Vampire Proof by NCM.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • CD Review: Pony in the Pancake's "Whispers of Love"

    • Oct 1, 2016
  • CD Review: Christine Spero's "Spero Plays Nyro"

    Why and how dare she devote an entire album to songs by Laura Nyro when we can just listen to the originals on Spotify? I'll tell you why. Because Christine Spero fully inhabits these songs, uncovers hidden nuances, and with her stunning ensemble—including drummer Peter O'Brien, bassist Scott Petito, saxophonist Elliot Spero, and Christine's own magic hands on the ivories.
    • Aug 1, 2015

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Latest in Music

  • Art of Business: Bardavon
  • Art of Business: Bardavon

    See a show at the Bardavon this season. You won't be disappointed.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Turning the Turntables
  • Turning the Turntables

    This month, we once again ring in the new year with a specially selected panel of Hudson Valley music mavens, who run down their top releases of 2016 and talk current crushes and future faves along the way.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Nightlife Highlights: Kris Kristofferson
  • Nightlife Highlights: Kris Kristofferson

    Handpicked by music editor Peter Aaron for your listening pleasure.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • More »

Related to Music

  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by Jeremy Schwartz

Hudson Valley Tweets