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Nine Black Alps - Everything Is


Review: Jack Foley

IT'S easy for guitar bands to get lost amid the current revival that's sweeping all before them at the moment, so it comes as some relief to find that Nine Black Alps avoid that trap and justify their hype with debut album, Everything Is.

The long-player positively explodes into life with tracks such as Get Your Guns, Shot Down and Southern Cross, thereby heralding the band's arrival as Manchester's newest darlings.

Everything Is incorporates everything from the grunge sound of Seattle, to the more straight-forward rock of California, right down to indie-laced blasts of guitar-driven pop more akin to Ash than Nirvana.

But it's the eclectic nature of the album that prevents it descending into a sonic mess of attitude, beer-stained bravado and power-riff overload.

Yes, it's best played loud, but there are a number of different styles, and even some chilled out numbers, including the acoustic Intermission, that demonstrates a maturity beyond the band's years and a welcome possibility for the future.

Of the highlights, Southern Cross emerges as a triumphant Mancunian take on the grunge-laden guitar sound of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, while the wailing guitars of Not Everyone hark back to the glory days of Nirvana, right down to its rip-roaring chorus that Cobain and co would be proud of.

A lone guitar screams out, siren-like, to herald the arrival of the glorious Unsatisfied, which finds Sam Forrest's strong vocals at their most melodic, while Just Friends also contains its fair share of catchy hooks and sing-along lyrics.

The title track, Everybody Is, contains its fair share of 60s sensibilities (conjuring memories of The Kinks' You Really Got Me), while the grunge influence returns to heady effect on Ironside.

Better still, however, is another of the album's slower efforts, Behind Your Eyes, a psychedelia-laced acoustic ballad that marks a distinct change of direction for Forrest's vocals. It's a brilliant ode that can be appreciated by members of both sexes.

There are, of course, a couple of tracks that sound a little lazy and power-driven, but on the whole Everything Is succeeds in surpassing its hype and setting Nine Black Alps apart on a peak of their own.

 

Track listing:
1. Get Your Guns
2. Cosmopolitan
3. Not Everyone
4. Unsatisfied
5. Headlights
6. Behind Your Eyes
7. Ironside
8. Shot Down
9. Just Friends
10. Everybody Is
11. Intermission
12. Southern Cross

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