This one’s been getting a bit of a quiet reception Stateside, but Kiwis Jim Nothing have been making plenty of noise with their latest album, In The Marigolds. The record employs no shortage of nostalgia, finding itself hopping around the Left of the Dial staples like a ‘90s college radio station. Glazed with enough guitar crunch to satisfy the grunge and punk stalwarts, but letting their hooks go wobbly at the knee, the band finds themselves lodged between the higher profile crossover hits of the past and the more cult corners of their home country’s legacy. James Sullivan and Anita Clark’s vocals parry and duck around one another — Sullivan letting a bit of sandpaper and smoke claw at his delivery and Clark cushioning every chorus with her tender take on indie. They jangle as often as they let the fuzz rush into view, with violins sawing at the senses on quite a few occasions, scratching at the alt-pop itch with an insistent devotion..
The band is often at their best when clambering up the coastlines of their South-Hemi heroes. Debris from The Clean, The Bats, and The Go-Betweens clings to a good grip of their songs, and they wear the rumpled remains of the era well. Though, it’s hard to deny that the band scrubs up well as they blend The Go-Betweens’ literate lope with the more propulsive heartbeats of The Breeders, leaning into radio-ready sounds with an effortlessness that’s enviable. A magnified view of the record might read as the band being unable to pick between the margins and the mainstream, but pulling back far enough reveals the album’s accuracy for the era they’re aping. During the decade of snapping up anything in indie’s wake, there was plenty of room for roughing up the pop spectrum, and Jim Nothing bring the ‘throw bands at the wall to see what sticks’ mentality swimming back into view. Personally I’m here for it and the band winds up making In The Marigolds a varied but enjoyable jumble.
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