Metaphorical Blowjobs 

Nice Nice Makes Us All Look Bad

Nice Nice
Sun July 31
Holocene
1001 SE Morrison

Back in the golden days of the Mercury, I recall more than a few disgruntled rocker types complaining about the heaps of praise former music editor Julianne Shepherd slathered on local duo, Nice Nice. I can even recall colorful metaphors involving the kissing of ass and sucking of dick being tossed around to describe the perceived favoritism. Well, I have to say that I, too, am forced to suck Nice Nice's collective dick, because I simply have no choice. They are the best in town--better than my band, better than your band.

Why so much better than you? Most aspiring rockers split their rehearsal time between perfecting their hair and shoes, getting their drink on, or talking shit on more successful bands. Nice Nice put their art first. The duo, Mark Shirazi and Jason Buehler, essentially live in year-round jam hibernation, absorbing, recombining, and recording all types of music from country, dub, noise rock, and beyond.

"If we are tired or feeling crappy we are usually still motivated to play because we might have a great time playing 'tired' music or find a new way to express 'crappy,'" says guitarist Buehler. "We simply play because we love to play."

Many reading this are probably familiar with Nice Nice's M.O.; Buehler mechanically loops waves of spot-on guitar virtuosity, while drummer Shirazi seizes each moment like Gene Krupa fused with a telepathic drum machine. Now with Yesss!, their latest release on the great local label Audraglint, the band transcends what few faults their previous recordings might have had, perfecting an even more muscular assault.

"Due to an injury that prevented Mark from playing for more than a minute at a time, we decided to write and record Yesss! part by part in the studio," Buehler explains. "We were able to create the fantasy version of Nice Nice that could exist if we each had extra limbs."

Though perhaps considered an EP (five originals and three booty-busting remixes), Yesss! feels as complete and utterly satisfying as a full length. The title track is a kraut-hippie odyssey, managing to rip "Tomorrow Never Knows" a new one as it travels through eastern scales, ecstatic guitar solos, and a wall of percussion overdubs. Elsewhere the album slips into monstroid hiphop grooves and ghostly vocal chanting, never losing sight of the record's harmonious vibe.

Don't feel bad though, all you middling band dudes. Maybe with years of daily practice, you too could be the next Nice Nice. Until then, why not watch the masters at work?

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