By Jamie McNamara
Paradise Of Bachelors/You’ve Changed Records
Haligonian quartet Nap Eyes are what you would get if you put Blue Rodeo, the Velvet Underground and a handful of university professors in a studio together to write songs. Led by Nigel Chapman, the Nova Scotian band has made a name for themselves by releasing two stellar albums of Maritime slacker rock chock full of twangy Canadiana. I’m Bad Now, their third full-length (and final album in an informal trilogy), expands on their previous releases while sounding more clear-headed and full of purpose.
Like on much of the album, early highlight “I’m Bad” is a Wilco-esque, alt-country dirge that finds Chapman seemingly singing in second-person, examining inward while floating above. The song features guitarist Brad Lougheed’s most feedback-laden solo as a hard-earned climax.
Elsewhere, “Follow Me Down” sounds like a Rankin Family waltz with a whole lot more weed smoke overtop. It also features some of Chapman’s finest lyrics as he sing-speaks, “I went out walking with my headphones on/Classical Indian raga twenty minutes long/Then I listened to old American folk song/A little bit shorter, still a lot going on.”
Here, and for just about all the album, Chapman writes whip smart lyrics that are impenetrable to a fault. Still, with a little investigation, these songs reveal themselves in time. It’s a testament to the band that even if they didn’t, Chapman’s still managed to churn out hooks like, “I can’t tell what’s worse, the meaninglessness or the negative meaning/I figured out a way to get on with my life and to keep on dreaming” as he does on the lead single “Everytime The Feeling.”I’m Bad Now, Nap Eyes, Paradise Of Bachelors/You’ve Changed Records, Record Review