The Naddiks are a three-piece Australian pop-rock band that has recently recorded their first release, “21CB,” a six-track mini-album that has been released Green Distribution. The album itself is an exercise in dissonance: dissonance from power, from genuine interest and from general musicality.
“Destroy Me” starts off the album awkwardly at first, then brings a haunting chorus reminiscent of Interpol. One has to wonder why the whole song couldn’t be as good as the chorus and bridge, the places where all the instruments coalesce to make for an interesting and fairly moving sound. It would be nice to see this dominate the verses as well because the thin lyrics become exposed on the sections where the guitar is cut out.
“Lost and Found” allows for a bit of a more enjoyable listen, but the high-school rock band sort of feeling, that kind you get at the local Battle of the Bands where you just wish the band could get into their groove, continues to pervade. Even the sections that could be so good but are just missing some drive and punch get this treatment.
Finally! Some flow and power! “Weekend Syndrome” does its job as the album’s third track, bringing something that is catchy enough yet still makes you feel like this is a first effort. However it’s sibling track, “Human Condition,” is an exercise in drudgery, a disturbing imitation of an Alkaline Trio song that cannot carry the listener through the album, much less the track, without inducing cringes. “21st Century Believer” desperately needs to revisit the Pixies playbook and, especially as the closing song, needs to be a much more powerful statement.
As a beginning effort, “21CB” has some tinges of power and movement that hint at real possibilities for the music. The band’s cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is great, and an interesting take on the original, especially when performed live. The band as a whole vacillates from interesting and amusing to boring and somewhat of a joke. “Destroy Me” kicks off with some haunting yet extremely pediatric moments the listener is forced to go through several of these ups and downs, getting excited for the good stuff while dreading the weaker parts.
If there had to be a classification for this album it would be a combination of early 2000s, deeply marketable Christian rock-pop and a Pixies cover band. The reality is that The Naddiks needs a serious stint in the punk and hardcore scenes so they can get some real gonads and expand on the sections in “21CB” where they show any amount of drive.