Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
"In The City Contact High" is a song that could be the definitive anthem for Nodzzz, the San Francisco three-piece that feels like a long day in the sun, although that's a misleading statement. It's not at all a painful day in the sun, mind you. It's one where the pink skin just turns into a tan, never peeling or blistering, just that ideal transition from no color to that seasonal look of light leather. It's a band that has taken its love of British Invasion garage rock - the kind that was and is still being made in every inch of suburban America where there are old and jangly guitars, rummage sale amplifiers and a high strung trap kit - and thrown it through a temperate filter that makes it feel like a perfect temperature, without any grueling highs and lows, just a persistent buzz and distortion. It's old, old school rock and roll that has absorbed all of that Californian sunshine and many of the lazy attitudes of the beachcombers and those who wile the hours away in whatever way seems to fit, any way that isn't going to be considered work by too many people. These are songs that have windburn and are clothed in third-hand clothing, fourth-hand clothing and they might have been considered inconspicuous if it weren't for their defiant, though civil attitudes. They are punks, or they have the requisite punk attitude of either shitting or getting off the pot. There's not all that much room in their world for the bullshitters, for those who get off on making it hard for others to be content. "In The City Contact High," is this song that brings all of these thoughts into the mix - the mild injustices, all the crap that's forced down throats and all of the poseurs that come around with their chins up and their chests puffed out. Lead singer Anthony Atlas, just a scrawny young man, sings about those personal pet peeves of his - the wannabes - and just how many of them seem to be roaming the streets of his city and any big "city" one can think of. Atlas sings, "In the city they have something to prove, but nowhere to move," and it's then that we all get the picture, of never being able to get away from all of the riff raff, from all of the people you'd never tolerate if they weren't sharing public space with you. He sings about their no-talent-ness and about their broke-ness and how the cuties and the buddies should just take a hike or stand there and look good, but they shouldn't push it too far. Nodzzz carries with it a wonderful carefree feeling of objection, or looking into the faces of those that disgust without trying too hard, or even knowing they're doing it, and just shaking their heads and turning away. It's non-confrontational angst that just becomes hummable, grungy apathy for all the kids to skate to.
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