1995 was a terrible year, overflowing with such horrific reminders of unmitigated evil as the incarnation of the dreaded WTO, the despicable detonation of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City, and the teeth-smashing verdict which deemed one Orenthal James Simpson "not guilty" of the double murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. On the bright side, it was in that year of our lord 1995 when New York City trio Nada Surf originally released their debut EP Karmic on the little known No. 6 Records.
Lead by singer/guitarist Matthew Caws, "the surf" would deliver their breakthrough album High/Low one year later, primed polished and produced by the Ray Ban wearing Cars front man Ric Ocasek for Elektra Records. The album, which featured the novelty smash "Popular," reached as high as number 11 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and helped feed Caws and crew hoards of green backs, magazine covers, and sparkling moments in the national spotlight.
After the release of the stale sandwich which no one was hungry for called The Proximity Effect, Nada Surf floundered around the New York City streets like a bum screaming insignificant ramblings into a deaf night, only to fall into a backsplash of fate and onto the soft shoulders of Seattle imprint Barsuk Records who would release 2002's remarkable Let Go and 2005's hallowed treasure The Weight Is A Gift.
Barsuk is slated to release Time For Plan A sometime in 2008, but until that year comes, if it ever does, the good people at Hi-Speed Soul have broken into the archives and re-released the primal sounds found way back on Nada Surf's initial offering Karmic for your listening pleasure.
"Telescope" is an arduous knee to the nose as is the synth-fueled pop eruption of "Treehouse" while "Everybody Lies" acts as a calling card for then unknown Caws and his impeccible talent to write not only fierce indie-rock rippers but also dewy-eyed ballads. "Nothing" sounds like Bay Area boy Blake Schwarzenbach before the Jawbreaker broke his mouth apart and after his Jets To Brazil came crashing down.
This six-song EP is a blowtorch capable of producing cherry-orange flames on bone dry land like forest murdering wildfires thanks to the pre-pubescent vigilance of Caws and his Big Apple cohorts. The production is erosive and raw like early Dinosaur Jr. 7"s which acts as an early warning signal of greatness to come.
also, here is a video for "Treehouse" which features "Wiener Dog" from the Todd Solondz flick Welcome To The Dollhouse.