Just my luck… I had the night off work and noticed The Spyrals were playing at Bottom Of The Hill. I hadn't seen Jeff from the Spyrals in years, so I went to the show. When I arrived, the opening band was about mid set. I grabbed a beer and found a spot to watch. This three-piece band had the crowd completely hypnotized. I too fell hard into hypnosis. Who is this band? My curiosity grew by the second. I asked the bartender who they were and she pointed to a name on a flier. The band was Niveles.
The next day I was still in awe of what I witnessed, replaying my memories of their set. What struck me the most was how every note carried so much weight, so much emotion. When I got word of their new eight song S/T EP, I wondered if it would evoke those same feelings I felt at Bottom Of The Hill. The answer is a hard yes.
First on my list of tracks to highlight from their new EP is “Hard Bill”. This song builds and builds until we reach the heavens and beyond. A key element to this single is the guitar parts which guide us on this journey. A sparsely strummed guitar, coily greets us before revealing its true colors. Those colors are revealed at the 1:33 mark when the distortion kicks on, punctuating the one and two count. Then they dig. At the 2:18 mark, an arpeggiated guitar arrives, hovering overhead like a flying saucer. With all systems go at the 2:38 mark, the lead guitar slams the throttle, propelling our rocket past earth's gravitational pull and into outer space. Can you hear me Major Tom!!!
With a comparable formula but different experience is the very next track "Party At BG's Haus". A big difference is how the bassline controls the feel of the song instead of the guitars. That bass tone is everything. The guitar flutters in the wings as it awaits its moment in the spotlight. When the distorted guitars arrive, the tenor changes and the song morphs like an Altered Beast on Sega Genesis. Controlled chaos ensues, I love the mayhem.
I found the final track to be the most memorable. "House Of Mirrors" wastes no time getting down to business. Delivering a haunting mystic are the delayed guitar notes in the verses. Those delayed guitar notes bait us. They position us to the place where the band's incoming wall of sound's impact will hit us like a tsunami. Big chords rain down over the sonorous rhythm section. We're thrown around in the wash like a surfer who's spilled at Mavericks. The force is real.
Again, I'm happy to report that how Niveles performs live is on par with how they're captured on tape. Each song's weight is felt through and through. As far as tones and vibe, their sound reminds me a little bit of Tool's "Sober". Their hypnotic, dark, menacing brand of music is undeniable. The way Niveles locks into a groove over minor chords, delayed guitars and perfectly placed samples is next level. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have stumbled upon their music and even luckier to be able to deliver this exclusive music premiere.