Nelson Can

Now Is Your Time To Deliver

Written by: HES on 23/11/2014 22:38:39

Nelson Can is the newest edition in the all-woman band category in Denmark. Having piqued my attention by doing a slo-mo video of twerking for their recent single, I gathered enough attention to actually sit down and listen to the rest of the album. With Two Trick Pony’s “The Horses Are Coming” the dawn of female-fronted Danish noise rock had been noticed on a street corner or fire hydrant somewhere in town - Nelson Can is following the trend and primarily succeeding at it.

Leadsinger Selina Gin has one of the most versatile voices I have encountered in a while. She moves from classic hysterical chanting into amorous flirtation, and whenever high notes are needed she scrapes half the power off but instead keeps the hoarse remains. Even though the variety embraces everything from rock diva to baby-talk whispers, it somehow still fits the overall frame, heavily supported by the two remaining members as choir. The choir is kept mostly dark and chanting as well, but it works well when Selina Gin roams vocally outside of the regular punk’ish screaming and at times sounds even - dare I say it - pretty?

But I do have two major problems with the album in spite of these moments of brilliance. My first appeal is a lack of depth in the soundscape. The band constellation only consists of vocals, bass and drums, but as the bass in most cases takes up as the primary modus of the melody, it kinda wavers in between and is never here nor there. With noise rock/lo-fi having a general tendency to sound a bit superficial with heavy use of the higher-pitched drums as well, it borderlines a certain flatness that is not really flattering - this is almost the case on “Now Is Your Time To Deliver”, but just almost. Unfortunately in these streaming days, it is however important to consider, that optimal sound conditions are not always a given. On my home stereo, the bass is just right - but as I tried to give it a spin on a pair of standard earphones, I was shocked by how little of the bass was present. It's not a real point of critique but something almost all bands should consider when mixing.

The other problem with the record is very little playing around with the tempi. The album single “Talk About It” and “Attack” are good examples of the band actually playing a bit around with using the tempo to build up and tear down within the otherwise pretty genre-limited sound. I understand the band’s main rhythm is more of the classic, steady, drum-driven kind we’ve seen numerous times, but Nelson Can’s trademark could easily be a more danceable, funky version of the norm. The band has already been experimenting by mixing a bit of the 60’s psych-references into both vocals and bass-work on songs like “Now Is Your Time To Deliver” and “Letting Go”.

Overall the album is full of excess excesses and delightful confidence. The girls of Nelson Can are also not at all daft behind pen and paper, most of the songs actually sticking to your brain like pre-chewed bubblegum after just a few spins. With many Danish rock acts going somewhat retro these days, it’s great to see that there is still a fountain of new inspiration behind it - rest assured that Nelson Can is not just a band reinventing the wheel - there is actually some very interesting takes on an old-new genre on “Now Is Your Time To Deliver”.

Download: Talk About It, Attack, Miami
For The Fans Of: Two Trick Pony, The Kills, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Release date 17.09.2014
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