The Nautics - Black Light Doves
2010, The Nautics
The Nautics are a family band from Medford, Oregon, blasting out of the northwest with a vital surf-guitar sound heavily influenced by The Ventures, The Beatles and The Stray Cats. Mike Seus (guitar/vox); Joe Seus (drums); Matt Seus (bass) and Paul Seus (lead guitar) coalesced over the course of a couple of years, but play as if destined to work together from the start. The Nautics recently released their debut album Black Light Doves, an intriguing blend of surf, classic and modern rock.
Black Light Doves opens with the title track, a catchy pop song in the 1960’s style lamenting loss. This, surprisingly, is a highly danceable number with tremendous pop sensibility. Mike Seus has a great rock voice; not necessarily the prettiest one out there but full of character and he transitions well between chest voice and falsetto voice. “Save Your Money” is a fun, danceable tune, maintaining the vibe until The Nautics roll out “Quarterlife Crisis”. Full of angst and melancholy, there is nonetheless a tongue-in-cheek quality to the unrequited love song that you can’t ignore. “The Sobbing Truth” is catchy surf-guitar rock, perhaps a continuation of the storyline from “Quarterlife Crisis”. Halfway through and The Nautics are looking strong.
And sometimes a band would be better off stopping at an EP.
The rest of the material on Black Light Doves is sufficient, but doesn’t grab the listener the way The Nautics managed on the first half of the album. “Sweetheart With The Strawberry Hair” starts the second half on a promising note; a catchy rock tune that will get stuck in your brain, but thereafter the songwriting is uninspired and mundane. It’s very clear that the Seus can play and even have a talent for writing catchy rock/pop tunes, but in this case the allure of releasing a full length album brought the inclusion of a selection of songs of uneven quality. I have no doubt that some of the less inspiring material here may work better on stage, but the second half of the album in particular just comes off flat. Nevertheless, there's enough good music here to make the album worth checking out, and to postulate a bright future for The Nautics.
Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about The Nautics at http://www.thenautics.com/ or www.myspace.com/thenautics. Black Light Doves is available from Amazon.com as a CD or Download. The album is also available from iTunes.