Matthew Caws’ Nada Surf continues to carry the torch for fans of that fine balance between alternative and classic pop-rock. With an emphasis on sophisticated melodies and intelligently crafted emotionally resonant material, Nada Surf may seem like an anachronism in this day of pre-fabricated pop formula but this is the perfect antidote modern music needs at this time.
From the moment lead single “Cold to be Clear” blasts into your ears, the adrenaline will start pumping as the band channels influences of indie rock, power pop and straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll into an infectious ditty that delivers a sublime high.
But it is in the mid tempo ballads that Nada Surf demonstrates how shallow modern pop balladry is with heartfelt anthems to troubled love e.g. “Believe You’re Mine” – ‘One day, I’ll love somebody else/One day, I’ll take care of myself’ and ‘You come rushing at me/And I forget my body/You come rushing at me/And I forget my worry’.
At times, Caws tenor pulls hard at one’s heart strings, emphasising the melancholy lyrics with a power that is hard to resist. On the retro-sounding folk-rocking closing track “Victory’s Yours” – chronicling a breakup – Caws sings, ‘I can’t re-do and I’ll do it without you’ before declaring, ‘Victory’s yours/The fighting is done/Battle’s won/Now I’m gone’. The end of a relationship has never ever sounded so good.
A precious treasure to have and to hold, Nada Surf continues to be a boon for all lovers of melodic rock, delivered the old fashioned way. Celebrate!