NE-HI have made themselves a great sophomore effort. Their self-titled debut LP was rough around the edges, ragged and full of promise. It held your attention fine but you were hoping for more. Well, Offers is more. They’ve sanded the edges while retaining the attitude. The production is tighter, without sounding over-produced; mixing in styles such as garage, 80s new wave and the jangly guitars easily associated with New Zealand’s Flying Nun roster. And the songwriting is much improved.
Offers sees the Chicago quartet blending the wave guitar riffs with a garage rock ethos. You mix in the dueling lead vocals of Jason Balla and Mikey Wells, with the outstanding rhythm section by James Weir (bass) and Alex Otake (drums)and you have yourself a 37 minute blast of rock n roll goodness.
While sounding nothing like DBT, the dynamic between Balls and Wells songwriting reminds me of how Cooley and Patterson’s songs plays off each other on an album. Balla’s songs tend to give the music a little more space to move. These songs, including the opener Palm Of Hand & Drag are what really drew me to Weir’s playing. These are the tunes that you just put your head down and let the music cascade over you. Wells’ tunes tend to a short story. They’re not detailed stories that Patterson delivers but they tend to capture a moment in time. Sisters and Buried On The Moon are the two strongest that he delivers.
NE-HI has taken a massive leap forward. And there’s no reason to think that they can’t keep this train moving forward. They’re going to be down at SXSW and for my Chicagoland faithful, they’ll be at The Bottle tomorrow night.
NE-Hi is here