Nuns’ First LP Pays Tribute to all the Greats
Oklahoma-based alternative band Nuns, whose debut LP “Opportunities” was released this last April, have made a remarked entrance onto the psychedelic/melodic rock scene with music reminiscent of The Smashing Pumpkins and dream pop duo Beach House for the amorphous sound, dim vocals and post-punk aesthetics.
With a title such as “Opportunities” it is clear Nuns are not here to mosey through unchartered territory. They’re newcomers packing a heavy heritage. The sound of this Tulsa quartet carries the imprint of various effect pedals and ambient elements, at once up-tempo and atmospheric. They’re also goth rockers with gloom galore; their lyrics deal with heartbreak and lost love among other topics, using language that is simple and unassuming, yet neither dull nor trite in the least.
The record starts off with “Beautiful Little Fool” a fairly grungy track with its heavy-hitting base line and drums. “Colours” is glum and lancinating. “I Don’t Know Where I stand” with its layered rhythms is deliciously wistful and nostalgic. “Novice Authors” and its scything guitar riffs conveys deepness and drama. “Nothing’s Ever as it Seems” is a post-grunge gem. Title track “Opportunities” is where the Beach house influence is most felt, a kind of drawn-out unrealness that penetrates the skin. “You Mean so Much to Me” starts out as a hard rock anthem, disintegrates into minimalist post-rock then starts up again. “Resurrect this Pawn” is nicely dark and has that voice-as-texture and goth finish. “The Clear Light” and “The End” complete this tableau of nods to rock’s golden days.
Nuns propose here a solid record strewn with influences ranging from psychedelic rock, punk rock, grunge and dream pop, managing to combine the best of each. And that slew of musical references might be the chief reason why “Opportunities” lacks that strong and bold impulse, that grain of folly, despite the undeniable command and skill of its creators.
“Opportunities” is Nuns’ debut effort, a mature and well-rounded LP that does elicit awe and respect. These Oklahoma natives have managed to rise to the level of the greats with this first record and while it does little to revolutionize the genre, it has flair and feel in abundance, enough so that it’ll be no small task to forget these haunting and soul-stirring melodies.
They’ve recently toured alongside Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance’s co-founder, and will be performing on June 12th in their homestate of Oklahoma at the Arts on the Avenue Festival.