Every once in a while I hear of a new band that when described to me gets me genuinely intrigued. Whether it’s because I’ve heard they sound like another band I love, they have amazing live shows, or maybe because they just they’re a little bit ‘out there’, it could be the tiniest thing and it makes me sit up and take notice. Well I had one of these moments when I heard about Nickel Pressing: Having read that this French three piece took guitars out of the equation and replaced them with a violin, yet still sound like Dick Dale meets Sonic Youth meets Nirvana I got very excited. Well who wouldn’t be interested in hearing that?
As I press play and start listening to the first track I wonder if I’ve been given the wrong CD… No, I double checked and it definitely says Nickel Pressing ‘Uncanny’ on it. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hasty to judge but unfortunately after a bit more of a listen my first thoughts are indeed correct; they sound absolutely nothing like Dick Dale, or Sonic Youth and certainly nothing like Nirvana. What is coming out of my speakers is ineffably bad – I suppose it would be considered electro punk if I was forced to pigeonhole it. All I know for certain is it is completely out of time, very repetitive and grates to the point that you want to switch it off even if just for a moment to give your ears a rest. This is by no means helped by the appalling violin playing that sounds like a child scraping away at the strings, not an accomplished violinist in a professional band. The only moment that they step it up a notch to the slightly bearable is during their cover of Kraftwerk’s ‘Neon Lights’ which sounds similar to Arcade Fire with lots of warbling backing vocals behind what sounds very much like a full live band. With more tracks like this on the EP they might actually be going somewhere more positive.
I sometimes wonder what people see in bands like Nickel Pressing; there has to be a market for them somewhere or labels such as Loaf Recordings wouldn’t pick up on them. Maybe it’s just not my thing, or maybe it’s a French trend that I don’t get because I’m English, like an inside joke that you’re not involved in. Perhaps I’m just getting old and past it. Whatever the reason (and I desperately hope it’s nothing to do with me losing touch with ‘the kids’) Nickel Pressing just don’t do it for me. 2/10