Article by KevW
Throughout their career, Nada Surf have been seen as something of an American equivalent to Teenage Fanclub, and it's a comparison that's not going to be disappearing any time soon. It's also a compliment rather than a criticism. In recent years the Scottish band have veered a little closer to the middle of the road, but that's not really a lead that Matthew Caws and co. seem intent on following. 'You Know Who You Are' is packed with melodic powerpop, and just about every track is vying for contention as a single.
Sublime melodies and harmonies introduce 'Cold To See Clear' which soon kicks fully into gear and dazzles like the best gems in the band's eight-album back catalogue. This is pristine guitar-pop of the variety that the likes of Big Star began ushering in many years ago, fully realised in terms of sound. Jangling guitars abound on the brass-flecked 'Out Of The Dark' and the slight Tom Petty twang of 'Animals'. Those shining melodies ooze out of every pore of this album, from the beautifully lovelorn 'Believe You're Mine' to the invigorating rush of the title-track.
There's a little more fuzz to be found on 'Friend Hospital', where it feels as though Nada Surf are going back to their '90 roots (not that they ever strayed too far from them) and it wouldn't have been out of place on Teenage Fanclub's stellar 'Songs From Northern Britain' album, with 'New Bird' following it in being that bit more gritty, and the deeper chug of 'Rushing' being offset nicely with crystal clear vocal harmonising. 'You Know Who You Are' might be named after one of the songs it contains, but perhaps the mildly psychedelic slow-burner 'Gold Sounds' would have been a more suitable track to lend its title to the album as a whole. Nada Surf cross the finish line with the wonderful 'Victory's Yours', and if sunshine-powerpop was some kind of a competition, then a gold medal is surely deserved.
Nada Surf's website
Buy: 'You Know Who You Are'
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