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Thursday, October 14, 2010
84 Nash - Band for Hire (1999, Rockathon)
Let's see, 84 Nash called Columbus, OH their stomping ground, a city not far removed from Dayton. In addition to that, two of the groups albums were co-opted by Rockathon Records, and their often obliquely titled songs usually tapped out by the two-minute mark. It would be a shoo-in to assume that this trio was a prodigy of none other than Robert Pollard and Co. Guided By Voices sphere of influence is not the least bit lost on 84 Nash, but the same goes for their more distant contemporaries, Superdrag and Eric's Trip. Band for Hire was Nash's second album, following up 1997s The King of Yeah, also a Rockathon product, and the first non-GBV title for the label at that. A roughhewn, basement-nurtured aesthetic is baked into this scrumptious cake, and the band stuns with a gale-force surge in the shape of Hire's opening salvo "The Giggle Party." Deeper into the record "To the Equator" and "Cinnamon Block" are equally as satisfying, packing not only a similar, visceral rush, but some considerable harmonies as well. Here's some more background details on 84 Nash, ripped straight from their Myspace page:
They are 84 Nash, from Columbus, Ohio. Kevin Elliott, Andy Hampel, and J.P. Herrmann have been together since high school in various small towns around Southwest Miami County. Unknowingly their homemade four-track cassettes developed a following in nearby Dayton, winning the ear of other Dayton bands, such as Swearing at Motorists, Brainiac, and Guided By Voices - whose leader, Robert Pollard, made 84 Nash's first proper LP; The Kings of Yeah (1997). It was the first non-GBV release on Rockathon Records. These static-rock soundings were a snapshot of things to come, full of agitated, youthful energy jumping head-first out of the gates. They were let loose upon the world of pop music. Shortly thereafter 84 Nash moved east towards university and the fertile rock landscape of Columbus. Rockathon then released the stellar second record, Band for Hire (1999), to wild acclaim - among the core fanbase of maybe 50 kids in town. However a few things were different this time out. The bursts of frenetic noise became more fully realized songs. Anthems were soon crafted by our action pop superheroes, colored in all shades of melody and sharp hooks. The rock simply rocked more, while the pop became the signature that separated 84 Nash from the rest.