Rochester City Newspaper


Music should be at least a little weird. Embracing a strange edge is often the most interesting route for a band, especially one decades into its career.“Fly, Fly, Fly,” the nearly unclassifiable and addictive new album from longtime Rochester experimental band Nod, is also undeniably weird. But that’s nothing new for this group.

When the trio began playing in basements in the early 1990s, their releases hewed close to the garage psychedelia of The Flaming Lips and their fellow western New Yorkers in Mercury Rev. Since then, vocalist Joe Sorriero has used his guitar more for texture than melody. Bassist Tim Poland maintains grooves while contributing keyboards, and Brian Shafer’s unorthodox percussion can’t be contained to a standard drum kit.

The Nod sound has always been a collage. That’s truer than ever on “Fly, Fly, Fly,” an album punctuated by a clattering seven-minute instrumental called “Ghost Ride” that makes “Revolution 9” sound like “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

Nod prioritizes improvisation. They’re a jam band the way The Velvet Underground were; the noise can stretch on unabated and reveal hidden depths.

“To Another” features gentle vocals over clarinet and warbly keyboard. “Something on The Doorway” luxuriates in a fuzzed-out guitar solo grounded in a rollicking beat.

The jams could go on forever, though Nod wisely limits their experimentation. With moments of blues and free jazz and an undeniable contemporary classical influence, the album feels at home on Carbon Records, the local home of “weird music” since 1994.It only takes one listen to know “Fly, Fly, Fly” is a beast of its own creation. That beast is your friend.

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