“I don’t wanna! Smoke marijuana! I just wanna get high….on another drug!” American twee may be louder than British twee, it may have retro guitars in Formica colours and crashy, clashy, garage stylings, but as Forrest Gump might’ve said, twee is as twee does. And talking of Gump, Nodzzz singer and guitarist, Anthony Atlas, has really committed to those high-waisted trousers, paired splendidly with checked shirt and dorky specs. They say he was voted ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ in his 1968 high school yearbook. Hot! More to the point, Nodzzz have also committed to that niche brand of sub-two-minute, lo-fi-pop-ism plied by bands like Grass Widow and tour buddies The Mantles (who are “delirious” with jet lag but excellent tonight), with a handful of songs about girls, smoking, karaoke and their hometown of San Francisco.
Other discernible influences come from the early years of punk rather than ’60s garage rock – the squareness of Jonathan Richman meets the playing-dumb of Ramones, Buzzcocks or Television Personalities – with lightweight, off-key solos and melodies as weak as diluted orange squash. How much of this punk-pop finger food you can stomach will depend on your taste for bite-size treats and quirky flavours. See also: Reese’s Pieces.
By Chal Ravens
Originally published in issue 26 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2011