Reviews

Dark Light Daybreak

Author: Rebecca Raber
09/07/2006 | CMJ | www.cmj.com | Album Review
Now It's Overhead has always stood out from the rest of its Saddle Creek labelmates, and not just because they are from Athens, Georgia instead of Omaha. Andy LeMaster (NIO's frontman, sole songwriter and producer) eschews the plaintive emotive warblings of Conor Oberst, the precious twinkling of Azure Ray and the dramatic gusto of Cursive, displaying more in common with the Nebraskan label's gothy stepchild the Faint, minus the coked-up dance rhythms and aggressive sexuality. Like almost every other band that released a debut album in 2001, NIO loves the Cure, but instead of imitating Robert Smith's icy synths and hiccupped singing, they've absorbed his theatrical darkness and spread it out over swirling, reverberating space rock. The atmosphere is still moody—gui-
tars echo and resonate under LeMaster's smooth croon as it commingles with dreamy, girlish voices but his songwriting is more direct and his production cleaner than before, which can be refreshing, but also leaves things sounding too stark.


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