Nephu Huzzband
November 2, 2009, 2:29 am
Filed under: Album Reviews, Recommended Albums


There is the promise of a real cult following for Nottingham-based bed-sit romantics, Nephu Huzzband. This fine little find begins with the title track’s taut, stabbing and erratic post-punk drums, at which point you might be forgiven for shrugging your shoulders and thinking ‘here we ago again.’ But then, hazy, harmonious guitars arrive to provide balmy temperance to the preceding frenzy that eschews with the much-plundered Gang Of Four discordance thing, Nephu Huzzband opt for a sound which, whilst not completely warm, is often sad-eyed, sweet and it has to be said, fairly in hock to The Cure.

There is a down-and-out prettiness, a quiet despair to Adam Popple’s reverb-heavy guitar that imbues the songs on ‘Papers’ with an aching air of resignation. Combined with Tom Bentley’s cavernous, Bob Smith-aping croon, Nephu Huzzband evoke images of discarded red roses lying abject on the floor of some forgotten East-End ballroom. The mooch-y tunefulness, the stories of bitter relationship disintegration and the bleak sense of humour contribute to an overall feeling that this is genuine underdog music, as opposed to the pretty-boy posturing of some of their oh-so-fey peers.

It’s difficult to know if the lo-fi production on ‘Papers’ is deliberate. Either way this s 6-track e.p possesses a drafty neon atmosphere, a misfit allure that is in the very best tradition of Brit Goth-Pop. AsThe Kooks strain to squeeze out a second exercise in laboured blandness, it is heartening to discover an Indie band that have a humble nature that has resulted in something effortless, fluid, refreshing and ultimately very real. Nephu Huzzband provide a vital addition to the early Eighties reincarnation drive.

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