Nail Polish is a rare band for whom “punk” could be the first descriptor that comes to mind, and the one descriptor that really sticks—if only because they’ve made headway across a whole sea of sounds since their debut EP. Guitarist Nic Brodine and bassist Jason Rivette are sometimes delightfully unpolished in that they don’t shy from scuzz or abrasion when it feels right, and since early last year when Brodine moved to Brooklyn from the West Coast and they started playing together, they’ve made their affinity for the unkempt work to their advantage. Where others might veer into messier lands, Nail Polish keep even their grittiest sounds sweet and pithy. August’s three-song have a sip was a sugary half-nod to 50s rock and roll that managed to mix pure punk aggression in with classically trained Rivette’s vocal harmonies.
The duo have a new single on the way, Stay Gone b/w Stop Dreaming, and the A-side falls just short of two and a half bracing minutes. The bright guitar-and-drum battering elicits dreams of the garage pop and psych unions that have come from the cult of Burger Records in recent years, and Brodine’s voice is insolent and spot-on as he laments a life that feels stuck. When he sings “Everything just makes me feel so fucking bored” or “I’m just standing here because who gives a shit?” over the pelt of the guitars, it’s whiny, sure, but paired with the irresistible pull of the bubblegum melody it’s an effective invitation to empathy—we’ve all been there to some degree, and it’s no crime to acknowledge the feeling. It’s ultimately best if you do.
“Stay Gone” is available now digitally from Illuminasty Records.