The Nightingales Hysterics 2xLP reissue
An expanded reissue of the second album by these John Peel favorites, and an unknown quantity to these ears. I feel like I’m fairly literate in British post-punk, but somehow I have not heard any of the NIGHTINGALES’ albums. I acquainted myself with their first record Pigs on Purpose before heading into Hysterics, and between both I found a distinctive sound. The drums dominate their songs, never playing a straight beat but instead creating an unsettling base of rollicking toms and accenting snips of hi-hat for the guitar and bass to sway seasick upon. The rhythmic unease is offset by what I hear as a distinctively English folk presence being experimented with on this album. A violin sidles in mystically on the second track, and on the third, the group somehow merges a funky break with banjo plucking. Lead singer Robert Lloyd has a huge sonorous voice, confident in its everyman timbre. I’d say this is jangly and melodic enough for a fan of the MONOCHROME SET, JOSEF K, or ORANGE JUICE, but with enough upside-down experimental quirk for you to listen to next to DOG FACED HERMANS, the RAINCOATS, or GLAXO BABIES.