Record Review 

It's a good thing Nillah wasn't snapped up by a major label in the late '90s when the pop band first started releasing music. Otherwise its new disc would probably not have seen the light of day in this age of disposable heroes. Released by local indie Two Sheds, the aptly titled The Sun Show radiates with irrepressible anthems and an admirable lust for life that's missing from so much of today's brooding, ominous fare.

"Fire Sanctuary" opens the disc with a swirling guitar call-and-response maelstrom eerily reminiscent of the Cult. Bassist Elisabeth Eickhoff's vocals add a cheery but unforgiving bristle. And thanks to the dynamic guitar interplay of Greg Gentry and Justin Sonfield, the amped-up model of Nillah rocks a little harder and harsher than on the band's two previous outings.

"Bed and Breakfast" is like a soaring, lost R.E.M. classic from back when they didn't suck. We're talking pre-Green here. Gentry's instantly recognizable Rickenbacker sound, anchored by Jeff Dehner's tasteful drumming, propels the entire collection with the same jangly combustion as before, but now the band's collective songwriting is greatly improved, with tight and concise lyrics and musical compositions.

There's still a definite U2 influence throughout, but it's less overt than in the past. The album peaks with the double chime of the title track and "Turn Back the Clock." It's proof that Nillah is still stuck in 1986, bless their hearts, but from the glow of this sunny delight, that's not such a bad place to live.

Nillah´s Sun Show CD release party is Sat., Feb. 5, at 9 p.m. at 10 High. Jason Tillery and Lazyeye open.


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