Nife - Chemicals
A female-fronted trio citing the likes of Faust and Can amongst their primary influences has me scrabbling faster than a cat after a fishy morsel. Unfortunately, upon actually listening to Nife, debut record Chemicals is less NEU! and more Pearl Jam with its old school grunge vibe and simplistically uniform riffs. Bopping along with a certain cheery disposition in the face of some unknown angst, represented by the dour guitars, the majority of Chemicals is a decidedly uninspiring listen, but not an entirely unpleasant one.
Only on the excellent stand out 'Slow Motion Accidents' do Nife finally let go and dive into the freeform madness that set the krautrock pack they so admire apart. This swirling, heady mix of scorching feedback, furious drumming and psychedelic tripping is as much at odds with the rest of the album as it is brilliant. Chemicals is a respectable opening effort that is both accomplished and polished, but it fails to sustain any particular interest, retracing the same paths trodden twenty years ago with a bland conformity and rarely troubled by original thinking.