NICE NICE

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos - — Robert Ben­ziker

Ex­tra Wow (Warp Records)

As­pir­ing mu­si­cians, take note. Few words make an in­die-rock critic swoon like “Krautrock.” In­deed, it’s pos­si­ble that 75 per­cent of Krautrock fans have at least dab­bled in mu­sic crit­i­cism, so pre­sent­ing your own vari­a­tion of the genre — pro­vided you know your stuff — is akin to brib­ing the judge at a pie-bak­ing con­test with a lit­tle whipped cream. Port­land duo Nice Nice is the lat­est group to say, “I think I’m Can, I think I’m Can,” al­though this only de­scribes a slice of what they do. On “One Hit” they de­cide that the three chords of punk are two too many, so they scrap them and give the last re­main­ing chord a mer­ci­less beat­ing for good mea­sure. “Big Bounce” sounds like they’re rid­ing the beat for the Beastie Boys’ “So What’cha Want” down to the bot­tom of the ocean. “New Cas­cade” is a drone wash with sprin­kles of Far East fla­vor. Nice Nice are tin­ker­ers, but Ex­tra Wow re­mains co­he­sive, due in large part to a sunny psy­che­delic vibe and a re­lent­less rhythm that churns like a steel fac­tory that’s be­hind on its quota. The uni­form sound may have come at the ex­pense of great in­di­vid­ual songs, but the band still has time, and they’re headed in the right di­rec­tion. Pass the whipped cream.

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