This Friday, Cincinnati rockers A.M. Nice release their latest album, End of an Era, the follow-up to the trio’s self-titled debut in 2016. Like A.M. Nice, the new effort is being issued by long-running and well-distributed area independent label Phratry Records, marking the imprint’s 57th release since it began in 2004.
Below you can check out the music video for the first single from End of an Era, "Mind Right," quite possibly the first to ever combine Jenga and professional wrestling. The clip was made by the video artists and filmmakers at Argo One, which has been working on a documentary about Phratry and has released various short films, features and other "video weirdness" (click here for more on Argo One).
A.M. Nice’s debut release introduced the trio — singer/guitarist Adam Nice, bassist Nick Hill and drummer George Marshall Jenkins IV — with a whirl of punkish hyperactivity, manic Post Punk rhythms and dynamic song shifts, all threaded with exquisitely magnetic melodic barbs. On End of an Era, much of that is still in place, but the blustery vigor, distortion and pace are often dialed back.
Curtailing the noisy caterwaul brings Nice’s sharp writing skills (which bring to mind Ted Leo at times) to the forefront, with especially strong cuts like “I’ve Done It” and “Mind Right” emerging as album highlights. Opening track “Porchlight” is also peak A.M. Nice, with the melodic basslines and explosive drumming vividly reflecting the drizzle of guitar sparks, and “Say Hey” radiates the kind of slanted Post Punk quirks Isaac Brock would have eyed longingly in Modest Mouse’s early days. The shifting of gears might take some getting used to if you became enamored with the scruffier, more chaotic-sounding vibe of the group’s debut and live show, but taken on its own the album is another worthy effort from the band.
Friday’s End of an Era release party takes place in the Lounge space at Southgate House Revival. The free show begins at 9 p.m. and will also feature performances by fellow locals New Third Worlds, Worthmores and Red Skylark, whose Wesley Pence — also known for his work in Middlemarch in the ’90s and, in more recent years, The Ready Stance — helped produce End of an Era.