Every so often there emerges an artist, a criminally underrated, cult-hero, “the best so-and-so you have never heard of,” etc. Sometimes they eventually make it big. Most often though, they languish in obscurity. If they are lucky, only until the times catch up to whatever it is they were doing, they get reissued, and suddenly they get their due. If they are unlucky though, until always.
Omaha artist David Nance is one such anointed artist – a veritable songwriting genius who makes crunchy, DIY, bedroom rock n’ roll songs set to sometimes-witty, more often gutting, lyricism. And as is often the case, Nance is actually deserving of the mantle. His stripped down, feedback and noise splattered productions manage to sound incredible, not because he’s employing any radical new style the world has never seen, but because of how skillfully he and his band are doing it.
Nance has a deep catalogue of works that are all worth spending some time with, but his newest is The Negative Boogie, his first album recorded in an actual studio. It’s a bit of a departure for Nance – but not in the way you might think. There is no ‘studio sheen’ on these tracks – the band recorded them live in a single day to be able to capture that “crammed down in the basement feel.” It is though, bigger and bolder than previous recordings – drawing comparisons to Canned Heat, Peter Laughner (Pere Ubu/Rocket from the Tombs) and others.
The sound works – Nance has a group of crack musicians backing him up and they come together spectacularly to make a beautiful, greasy, crazed ruckus. You can stream the whole thing below and catch the band live tomorrow night at the Eagles Club. Should be a mind-blowing show.