Nap Eyes – Thought Rock Fish Scale
Location can be an underappreciated facet in rock music. Take Nap Eyes’ second long player, for instance; recorded in a living room in smalltown Nova Scotia, it feels like it was recorded in a living room in smalltown Nova Scotia; sparse, distant, at the edge of events. Eight tracks of unrushed Canadiana, the guitar restrained, Nigel Chapman’s languid vocals sitting high in the mix, inviting comparisons to The Only Ones and late-period Lou Reed.
The undoubted highlight is Alaskan Shake, in which Chapman poetically plays the part of a swallow at flight. Yet whilst the album’s metaphors nuzzle up against nodes of self-reflection – not to mention a degree of Charlie Brown-style ennui – there remains the suspicion of mono-textural execution; a tonal constant resulting from recording live to tape, with no overdubs. Consequently, Thought Rock Fish Scale arrives wholesome and homely rather than exciting or challenging, as if missing the lights of the big city.