On their new split release Death Takes a Holiday—out on October 30th via Exploding in Sound Records—kindred spirits Nyxy Nyx and Bad History Month offer 10 tracks of excellent autumnal indie-rock that rides the line between ambivalence and transcendence.
The first side of the split belongs to Philly’s own Nyxy Nyx. Coming off the heels of their lush and dreamlike eight-song split with Tadzio from this year Sierra, the band continues their prolific streak here with five songs that cling to your scalp like suction cups from a brain scan.
The lead single from their contribution to the split, “No Worries” announces itself with a slow guttural drum hit before launching into a guitar melody fit for Robert Fripp going through a Yo La Tengo phase. The song is a perfect hook-filled shot of post-summer come down bliss that doesn’t wring out its juices for too long, with the band ending it just after the two-minute mark with an abrupt tape slow down.
The song’s lyrics fit the lackadaisical feel of the music with singer Brian Reichart offering his lukewarm temperature check. “No worries. Breath easy,” he sings, “Someone might give a damn, but it’s not me.” The other four songs on the split maintain the easily devourable slowcore/’80s Rough Trade sound. A great appetizer before they hand off the baton.
Throughout their reign, Boston greats Bad History Month has occupied the space for all those who may have asked the question, “What if David Berman flirted with the idea of starting a noise rock band?” With this new batch of tunes from the one-man-band brainchild of Sean Sprecher occupying the B-side of the split, this thirst is quenched with a big gulp with the lead single and final track “Deep Bright Future.”
The preceding 5 songs build up to it with a slow boil—including the split’s title track—adding more to their arrangements until we hear the full band work out on this noisey, clanging closer. The narrative that Sprecher weaves tells the story of the first man to wake up from cryostasis to a new world. Years go by before he is contacted by a journalist to get his feelings on this unique and perplexing position. Once they link up for their conversation, he is now on his deathbed. The dethawed narrator feels somewhat perturbed that it took the media this long to, you know, give a shit.
“So I ask ‘Why now?’” he asks. To which she replies, “Face it life is short so we’re impatient. Only Last Words can elicit any sense of fascination. It’s a basic precondition of the living to be complacent with the past ‘til the future starts to threaten to erase it, and we notice something’s fading, and there’s nothing to replace it.”
Feeling even more annoyed with her desired outcome for this story, he decides to level her with a truthbomb. “I said, “Ok, here’s a quote: You’re all wrong. Life is long, that’s why we waste it,” Sprecher sings in drawn out notes as the song reaches it’s frenzied cacophonous conclusion.
Head here to pre-order Death Takes A Holiday from Exploding In Sound Records.
Bad History Month & Nyxy Nyx Tour
10/15 – Boston, MA @ Arlington St Church w/ Nyxy Nyx
10/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Bar Freeda w/ Nyxy Nyx, Gorgeous, & Tiny Moon
10/17 – Meriden, CT @ The Superposition
10/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Khyber