by Corey Sustarich
Compulsion stuffs itself into the cracks of Nap Eye’s I’m Bad Now. Annunciated in melody and its instrumentation, Nigel Chapman, Brad Loughead, Josh Salter and Seamus Dalton have created a modern classic. Guitar tones crackle warm. Bass sits natural and drums fortify melodies that sound sweetly familiar and crafted without unnecessary adornment. The lyrics punctuate all of this with great authority and reason. Every syllable is calculated, neatly folded and tucked into its dedicated spot.
“Every Time the Feeling” is the first track and single from the album for good reason. The song booms with a collected forward motion, each part navigating to the next as Chapman’s delivery thickens his sharp lyrical content. Making light of deceiving ourselves and the lengths we go to hide painful truths, the words hum out:
Night after night, day after day if a thought rises you chase it away but you know you can never get away that easy.
Each song feels like it’s weaved from the same cloth on one ream of concerted effort. Varying tempos and moods show themselves as the album unfolds, making each song feel different from the last. The timbre of Nigel Chapman’s voice is far too doting and intelligible to not draw attention to itself. Even more amazing is how his insightful and personal lyrics pair with the band’s melodies so well that they purse lips to whistle almost instantaneously.
Jangly and buoyant, Nap Eyes take us through their pop marvel and second single with “Dull Me Line.” Each sound begins on an equal plane only to unfold emblematic and layered. The spastic guitar solos and rowdy ending attests that they don’t take their craft overly serious. However, self-criticism lays its heavy hand on the Nova Scotians best explained by Chapman’s words:
Now there’s an easy way if you want to waste your time away, I tell you it couldn’t be easier, you just listen to what I say, you take all the things you hate, dig ‘em deep out from your day and you’ll never have to go even if your friend tells a good joke and you don’t even smile smile even if it feels natural and that’s a dull me line.
Every syllable, pluck, strum and hit is applied to the composition for its betterment. If the bass is taking charge then the drums patter lightly and guitars plink distant knowing that their shining moment will come when it’s most beautiful and compelling.