A couple of listens right the way through to Chicago band NE-HI's second album Offers yesterday during a rather stressful day at work made me a great deal happier and able to cope with all that incumbant nonsense. So the least I can do for the band in return is to post them a glowing review on here this morning. Offers deserves it. It's a meaty, clanging, riff heavy piece of alternative guitar music, with eleven tracks, not one of which lets the side down. It makes a better advertisement for being young and in a guitar band than pretty much anything else I've heard this year.
NE-HI are evidently pretty young, the biggest giveaway on first hearing are the urgent splurted vocals from the band's songwriters, guitarists and vocalists Jason Balla and Mikey Wells. The arrangements though betray no little craft, ambition and drive . The band's Spotify Playlists include Chameleons, Television, Mission of Burma, R.E.M, the Velvets, Bunnymen, Clash and Replacements, among its selections and this will give you a fair idea of where you're heading should you choose to give Offers a listen. I'd add Let's Active, early Postcard and Factory Records to the mix as further comparison points. NE-HI are not entirely uncomfortable in this company, as lofty a claim as this might appear. They've clearly thought this through!
If the lyrical sentiments on display seem a little distant from my fifty one year old state of mind for me to fully empathise with, what the band might be going through emotionally, (sometimes one of the singers veers dangerously close to Clare Grogan territory for my personal comfort), doesn't really matter does it? There's wisdom beyond their years in the assembly of sound and emotion on here. 'Young Guitar Album of the Year' thus far on It Starts with a Birthstone. Made me feel like a nineteen year old there for a minute! Parquet Courts, watch your backs.