Nightmare of You

Torr and I had a little online discussion on Nightmare of You yesterday. I have yet to hear Nightmare of You's self-titled debut album in full, but from what I've heard, the word needs to get out that this band is not some goofy emo band, a vampire rock band or a sleazy '80s retread band.

I'll admit to some initial prejudice with these guys. Looking at this line-up pic of the band and reading a little about them, I figured I wouldn't like their music. Yet another band with a singer donning the vampire look, saying he's a fan of Morrissey and the Cure and he's an ex-member of a mall punk band, I just rolled my eyes.

Most indie music bloggers don't talk about these kinds of bands, so when Torr posted some stuff on Nightmare of You a few weeks ago, I was curious. Pulling up iTunes' music store and listening to the 30-second samples, I was pretty amazed by what I heard. This wasn't jokey, mall goth. This is some really poppy, melodic guitar rock with a very slight nod to the atmosphere of the Cure and the Smiths. So I wonder, why is a band like this getting very little exposure outside of the youth/mall punk world?

Taking a cue from a David Fricke line in I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, I'll say this: If I were to listen to Nightmare of You, I would not know who exactly this is for. This is good music, but I don't know what kind of person would buy this. Stepping out of the businessman look, I'll say this from a music critic stance: demographics shed little or no light on quality. Besides, good music isn't confined to a narrow, single demographic.

In the case of Nightmare of You singer/guitarist Brandon Reilly, his ties with Drive-Thru band the Movielife are brought up in every article. I vaguely remember the Movielife, but the way that people talk about them, they were loved and are missed. Well, the band split off into two main bands: I Am The Avalanche and Nightmare of You. Without having a strong point of reference with the Movielife's music, I can't really make comparisons with its spinoff bands like I can with a band like At the Drive-In.

What I hear from the total two minutes of clips from Nightmare of You is a really good album. Not just a good album for a certain crowd, but a good album that can appeal to a variety of people. So, where's the crossover? Do I think Reilly's ties with the Movielife puts the band in the emo ghetto by default? Maybe, but when people that are trying to do something different do a good job, they should live on past their shadow.

Does Alison Mosshart's pop-punk past with Discount mean that the Kills should be catered towards the pop-punk crowd? Should Big Star be catered to the R&B crowd because of Alex Chilton's past with the Box Tops? Should the Killers be catered to the ska-punk crowd because Brandon Flowers was in a ska band? The answer is no to all of these, so what's the hold-up with Nightmare of You?


Anonymous said…
Nightmare of You did an interview with mtvU during a feature called the Hot Seat, it’s a good and amusing one if you are a fan of the band, here is the link
i think nightmare of you is a really nice band i bought the album earlier this year en ny and every single song is a hit. i was also kind of worry why this band it has not been successful how it deserves. greetings from Lima Perú!
Anonymous said…
I think its simple. Their record label doesn't do shit for them. Doesn't want to put any money out to advertise for them. There is no push. They don't get played on mtv or fuse. They don't get put on any late night shows. And when I see some of the other bands out there it makes me ill.
Anonymous said…
So agreeable!! Like man i met brandon reilly in london at centennial hall after Nightmare Of You`s set was over an man these guys are soo effin GOOD and on top of that they are really good with their fans! its unfortunate that their label doesnt put eny money into advertising them cos man they are serious KILLER EXCELLENT...NO LIE!and thats also sad to see that mtv isent jumping on this! they have a vid and its good SO PLAY IT MTV!! CMON! hehe but yeh...solution to that "request them often and maybe they`ll get air time!!"