Sunday, March 25, 2012

Nordic Nomadic - Worldwide Skyline

Nordic Nomadic
Worldwide Skyline
Tee Pee Records/Impedance Records

After impressing fans with Quest For Fire’s impressive ‘Lights From Paradise’ from 2010, Toronto based vocalist/guitarist Chad Ross is back with something new. And this time it’s a brand new release from his alternate outfit Nordic Nomadic, who have recently signed to Tee Pee Records.
Not unlike Nordic Nomadic’s self titled debut effort (Released in 2007 through Blue Fog Recordings), ‘Worldwide Skyline’ is primarily a stripped back affair, with Ross writing, performing, recording and mixing the entire album himself, with the only outside contribution coming from renown producer/multi-instrumentalist/Hylozoists founder Paul Aucoin providing a few vibraphone additions.
Musically, Nordic Nomadic covers a completely different realm of music to psychedelic rockers Quest For Fire, with Ross indulging his folk/psychedelic pop influences, but with a minimalist approach that gives ‘Worldwide Skyline’ a unique sound.
The title track ‘Worldwide Skyline’ is the first offering on the album from Ross, and is perhaps not one that gives a true indication of what Nordic Nomadic stands for in the musical sense, with the opening minute comprising of electric guitar riffs. But once the heavy introduction is over, the acoustic guitars and heavily harmonised vocals take over, and the true musical identity of the band’s soul is revealed, and what a mellow and gentle soul it is. Of course, heavier electric guitar does crop up from time to time, but essentially ‘Worldwide Skyline’ is primarily an acoustic based affair, and for the most part, a fairly easy going, melodic and laid back affair at that.
The country flavoured ‘The Future’s Fear’ is a definite favourite on the album with its effortless meandering melodies and chilled out vibe, while ‘The Soft Way’, ‘Take Your Heart To The End’ and the beautiful closer ‘The Things You’ve Lost’ follow a very similar course in terms of instrumentation and direction.
In terms of personal favourites, ‘Growin’ Horns’ is a real stand out, with the progressive electric feel sounding reminiscent of the kind of material that Scott Reeder (Kyuss/The Obsessed) presented fans on his solo effort ‘TunnelVision Brilliance’ (2006), while ‘Bite To Chew’ and ‘Listen To The Leaves’ are further similar examples following Reeder’s semi-acoustic psychedelic brand of alternative rock to be found on the album.
Fans of Quest For Fire may find something of interest in Ross’ solo efforts, but only as long as they’re expecting something a little more downbeat and earthy as an alternative. But in terms of semi-acoustic psychedelic alternative rock, Nordic Nomadic’s sophomore effort ‘Worldwide Skyline’ is definitely a winner for this scribe.

For more information on Nordic Nomadic, check out - http://www.myspace.com/nordicnomadic

© Justin Donnelly