Wednesday, 19 December 2012

City Spotlight: NYC - Part 1 of 3


While Naam's debut album definitely fits into the realm of doom metal, it would be unfair to pigeonhole them as a metal band. Just as much about psychedelia as heavy guitars, Naam displays no shortage of outside influences. Much of their stuff borders rock (with a stark classic rock influence taking root) territory and it's not like they've never done an acoustic based song.  

Escaping the bustle of Brooklyn, they went to a Cabin in the Catskills to record their self titled masterpeice. The album seemingly came out of nowhere - it was fully engrossing, encapsulating a perfect contrast between psychedelia and darkness, atmosphere and riffs. Between more substantial releases, they put out two wonderfully done Nirvana covers - considerably reworking the bridge to "Drain You" and putting a drug-ladden psychedelic spin on "Pennyroyal Tea". 

Their subsequent and latest release "Ballad of the Starchild" isn't such a far cry from their debut album. There is some essential tweaking that stops it from being a repeat offering; namely the introduction of warmer tones as well as an increased classic rock influence. The EPs opener "Sentry of Skies" is a sorrowful yet warm psychedelic folk song that really sees Naam exploring new territory. This EP also spawned Naam's first music video, which features the band playing on a cliff, plugged into a large pyramid shaped amp as well as some trippy shit I won't ruin for you.

Part of what makes Naam such a successful band is their fluid integration of influences. While they do draw on the tropes of different genres, they blend them in a way that is original. They have a unique sound and no qualms with experimentation. Hell, they even include a black metal inspired section in one of their songs. Heavy psychedelia seems to be making a comeback lately, and Naam are no doubt one of the best of this school. As an added bonus, they have some of the best facebook posts of any band I've seen. 

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