Canadian quartet’s debut album shows lo-fi ain’t dead!
Whine of the Mystic is the debut album from Nova Scotia natives Nap Eyes. The whole album feels like a rehearsal that has been recorded so that they can play it back later and separate the wheat from the chaff. Luckily as there isn’t any chaff,so they uploaded it anyway. Whine of the Mystic is one of the most enjoyable and insightful albums released this year. Showcasing not just their disdain for recording techniques, but for the world they live in too.
Yes while listening to opening track Dark Creedence you get the feeling that Lou Reed isn’t really dead. He faked his death and now lives in Halifax playing Guided By Voices covers for fun with his mates. Make Something tells us to do something nice for someone today, for no other reason than you can. While this might not be the coolest topic of a song this year, it is one that says more about our cynical times than we care to realise. “Do it now, do it then, it doesn’t matter when” Nigel Chapman croons. Tribal Thoughts is one of the albums stand out tracks. Sounding like any Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream, but you know, lo-fi and a bit tipsy.The rest of Whine of the Mystic follows this narrative pattern with Chapman bemoaning about his lot in life, but also revelling in it. Guitar riffs that shouldn’t work interject with tight sparse drumming. Nap Eye’s have reinvented Johnny Cash’s Boom Chicka Boom sound for the barroom generation. The album closes with No Fear of Hellfire. Through jumbled guitars and drums, and rambling lyrics it brings the album to an almost perfect close.
This is an album for late night drinking sessions, or late night drives, but never at the same time. The droney guitars and Chapman’s monotone vocals speak perfectly to someone who is locked into a simple task that will take hours, namely getting hammered or travelling long distances. The rhythmic drums, almost train like at times, will synchronise perfectly when road signs whizz past in the darkness and the constant flash of lampposts through the windscreen keep you from falling sleep. The woozy nature of the guitars fits perfectly into someone needing a soundtrack for boozing. As you get more and more inebriated it all starts to make sense and sound in tune, making it the best thing you’ve ever heard!
Where Nap Eyes go from here is anyone guess. Rumour has it there is another album in the offing this year. Given the strength of Whine of the Mystic’s ram shackled charm, chances are it’ll be another slice of barroom philosophising set to a displaced beat and off kilter guitars.