Nada Surf
"The Weight Is A Gift"

(Barsuk Records 2005)Nada Surf - The Weight Is A Gift

For better or for worse, it is no longer the 1990s and indie rock is no longer king. Or, at least, not as it once was. Many of the "it" bands of that era no longer reign as they formerly did. Indeed, many are no longer bands, having long since broke up for various reasons. But Nada Surf remains intact, somehow managing to ride out the storm to arrive in 2005. Their newest album, "The Weight Is A Gift," is dominated by softly blended melodies that calmly pull you in.

"Oh fuck it/I'm going to have a party," guitarist and vocalist Matthew Caws sings on the bouncy "Blankest Year," setting the stage. A quiet ballad, "Your Legs Grow," maintains its intensity before trailing off on churning, distorted guitar while the light "Comes A Time" floats on buzzing instrumentation for a spacey feel. Other times, Nada Surf take control of the quiet beginnings, growing them and transforming the songs with full pounding choruses like on "Always Love." Thoughtful lyrics combined with feel good instrumentation make tracks like "All Is A Game," "Concrete Bed" and "Do It Again" into real pop moments as the simple riff on "What Is Your Secret?" makes the song endearing and memorable.

Nada Surf's biggest enemy on "The Weight Is A Gift" could be their consistency as the album rarely abandons its soft pop rock sound for any variation. Long gone are the scathing tunes of "Popular," instead replaced by more broad ranging meanings and topics. Nada Surf get to the point quietly, with no messing about. They mean business with "The Weight Is A Gift."

B-

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