The Nectars 

Sci-Fi Television

(7HZ Productions)

The Nectars are a female-fronted band from New Jersey who went to New York and made a name for themselves in the underground music scene. The band are formed of vocalist Jessica Kenny, Mike Montalbano (drums/vocals), Jon Paul (bass) and Michael Baron (guitar).

The outfit will release their debut album ‘Sci-Fi Television’ in the middle of May following the release of several singles and have the UK in their sights with a series of headline gigs and festival appearances scheduled around the record. So is The Nectars new record a sweet affair or does it leave a bitter after taste? Let’s press play…

Opener ‘Holy’ sees Baron provide a punchy guitar riff in not time at all as Kenny provides clear but angry lead vocals to reach the short and sweet one minute and seventeen seconds runtime.

‘Heaven’ is next and was previously released as a single with an accompanying music video. A moody bassline courtesy of Jon Paul creates some atmosphere. Kenny is in a pure No Doubt/Blondie frame of mind as she sings the memorable chorus “So much heaven!” The tad frustrating thing is that it has really potential to be a radio favourite if it wasn’t for the odd expletive. Hopefully a radio edit has/will be created because they deserve some radio airplay for this cut.

‘Cemetery Girl’ has this real American electric guitar that at times reminds me of a lost Sheryl Crow track especially with Jessica Kenny’s excitable vocal – if they wanted to they could segue from this into a Crow number at live shows! My favourite track on this record because it has an original sound. Again, just like its predecessors no messing about with it lasts one minute fifty seven seconds.

‘We Will Run’ is an anthem that includes the ‘Woah! Woah!’ backing and some light keyboards (unfortunately I’m not sure who is playing the keys but it pleasant). I’m not entirely sure but I think they are trying to escape a probing by aliens from the lyric “Cause’ you know they’re gonna wanna cut us up.” It works well on this album but I don’t feel it is the strongest song on it.

‘I Want It’ has Kenny sexily cooing “I want you here with me” and Mike Montalbano’s drumming is on point. Just please don’t play it loudly if children are in the property at the same time due to some bad language. Grab your headphones!

‘Don’t Panic’ has a country rock electric guitar riff and I’m intrigued. However, on the opening line “Firemen are coming and their saving their own families” it sounds like the theme tune to popular British children’s television series Bananas in Pyjamas (the original series with people in suits and NOT that horrendous excuse for a show animated version which is one show in a long line in questionable revivals including Rupert The Bear wearing trainers and Postman Pat flying his own helicopter to deliver the post for the relatively small population of Greendale. Don’t they just get bills and takeaway leaflets like everyone else? Anyway I digress…)

‘Lights Off’ really swings and provides Jessica Kenny’s best vocal on the entire album. Probably the closest The Nectars get to jazz imho. Think Garbage recording a live album at Ronnie Scotts. Completely different to the other tracks as well.

‘Tame’ sees The Nectars really rock out and I could see this working perfectly in a lively film but compared to ‘Cemetery Girl’ the lyrics seem forgettable. The rhythm section do gel on this cut though.

Closer ‘Tired’ is that moment everyone can relate to if you work night shifts or have ever consumed caffeine and high energy drinks in the wee hours. Frantic guitar and drums create this ‘electricity’ of being wide awake with such ease before zooming to a close.

In conclusion, The Nectars debut release ‘Sci-Fi Television’ blends rock, punk, pop and jazz to create a refreshing band sound that is not over-produced or generic but vibrant, fluid and exciting. Highlights include ‘Heaven’ and ‘Cemetery Girl’ which showcase the bands talents as writers as well as vocalists and musicians. Also, the album is definitely a short but sweet adventure with a total runtime of twenty three minutes and forty five seconds.

I also have to say a well done to the individual or individuals who created the front album cover artwork for ‘Sci-Fi Television’ as it looks just like a Sci-Fi poster and is beautifully presented.

So go and see The Nectars at one of their live gigs near you in the UK as I have a feeling that their UK visit will be one of those types of gigs that people will say they were at when they weren’t.

Glenn Sargeant

 



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(Thanks to Jenni at Wilful Publicity for help with this review)

The Nectars debut album 'Sci-Fi Television' is released on Friday 25th May 2018 on 7HZ Productions.

For gigs and more information visit the band's official Facebook page here: http://bit.ly/2rJh2qZ 

The Nectars