Thrashing their way out of a bedroom in Brooklyn come maximum sound duo NØMADS, with their debut album Free My Animal – an 8 track torrent of bass and drum experimentation that’s the result of a collaborative project between bassist Nathan Lithgow (My Brightest Diamond, Inlets and Gabriel and the Hounds) and drummer Garth Macaleavey, who in turn has done time as both Inlets’ touring percussionist and the sound engineer for the Philip Green Ensemble.
Having brought their many talents together under one moniker some time ago, NØMADS now embrace a raw full force approach to the much anticipated Free My Animal as they finally unleash these ultimate bedroom recordings. Produced, recorded and mixed entirely by the pair themselves, the organic feel to the debut LP adds a personal touch to the their brooding meditations; explosive and heavy in parts, there’s a driving aggression similar to 90’s alt-rock heroes such as Nirvana, Fugazi and Girls Against Boys.
The reclusive incubation of their music has clearly allowed the sound to grow naturally into a hulking beast of juxtapositions. Chunky, aggressive riffs are matched with minimal instrumentation on title track “Free My Animal”, a predatory number that slowly but forcefully creeps up from behind before a frenzied aural attack pounces at its peak. It’s unsurprising therefore that the song’s video depicts scenes of sinister stalking through their native New York – the feeling of being hunted lies deep within the frantic, crashing drums and is only further intensified by the darkly expressive vocals.
“The Cosmos” is far more melancholic in its harmony, but razor sharp barbs of bass continue to keep a spiky feel to the composition. A fever pitch is raised at the album’s midpoint as “Blood In The Water” offers a turbulent two-minutes of electrifying hooks and full throttle drums.
NØMADS seemed to have found a comfortable refuge in minimalistic post-punk. However, while there’s considerable intrigue in the sparse nature of the duo, in places there also feels as if elements are missing which could have pushed this project further. Completely unapologetic for this though, there’s an air of striking out within their chosen undiluted, animalistic treatment – if they follow it through, Free My Animal could mark the start of NØMADS’ evolution into Brooklyn’s most untameable rock act.