A few weeks back, I blogged about Nightmare of You. Getting to listen to their self-titled debut album this past weekend in Houston, I have come to a verdict on these guys: they are fantastic. However, they might be one of those bands that you pass up at first for various surface reasons.
Let me first clean the surface. Yes, by name only, Nightmare of You sounds like another piss-poor emo band strictly for the melodramatic teenage vampire crowd. Yes, singer/guitarist Brandon Reilly is a hunk and used to be in the Movielife. Yes, that is the one and only Sammy Sieglar of Youth of Today, Rival Schools, Bold, Judge and CIV on drums.
Now let me discuss why they are a fantastic band. For one, Nightmare of You sounds like a band that is influenced by bands like the Cure and the Smiths, but they are not copying them. I argue that their '80s influences are far less noticeable than so many other retro-sounding bands these days. There are no choppy post-punk riffs or half-melodies here. Rather, this is some really tuneful guitar pop that is not afraid to go places. Yes, there is country-tinged song (complete with pedal-steel guitar!) and there a couple of spots with horns. These liven the mood and they give some extra spice. With high harmonies and pianos/keyboards all around, I would say the only drawback is that this record is almost too sweet and sugary. This is by no means flimsy, forgettable pop, but still, I get the feeling that the band has some room to explore with their follow-up record.
Nightmare of You has opened for a variety of acts, including She Wants Revenge and the Rocket Summer. While it would be cool to see the Rocket Summer to open for Nightmare of You (castrated, goofball emo-pop opening for a band that has actually has depth and a wider appeal? Impossible!), I don't know if that gonna happen any time soon. All I can say is this: Nightmare of You may not seem the kind of band hipsters would go ga-ga for at first, but if more of them actually heard their music, they might change their minds.