Release Date: Oct 8, 2012
Record label: Brew Records
Ever since their 2005 debut, Everything Is, Nine Black Alps have waved their grunge influences over their heads like a plaid shirt on a stick. Love it or hate it, in a world of musical experimentation, innovation, and Coldplay collaborating with Rihanna, it’s refreshing to know that a band will refuse to change their stripes no matter how tried, tested, and in some cases, perfected, their formula may be. Sirens, the fourth album from the Manchester four-piece, begins with three tracks that exemplify this point.
Reinterpretation or regurgitation? I'm listening to Nine Black Alps' fourth record, and I'm thinking about the tightrope between the original and derived, the sincere and the ironic. Wear your influences too heavily on your sleeves and they may just pull you down, devolve you into some knuckle-dragging reversal of the Ascent of Man. A cartoon Neanderthal, an insult to the thing you love, a parody, a copy.
It’s easy to feel a little bit sorry for Nine Black Alps, despite teetering on the brink of mainstream since 2005 and winning plaudits aplenty back in the day, it never really happened for them. A hiatus, new label, and a couple of personnel changes, and they’re back with fourth long player, ‘Sirens’. If we’re honest, it doesn’t start well, ‘Be My Girl’ is easily one of the worst tracks on here.