Extra Wow reminds me of a lazy summer afternoon where you bask in the glow of the sun and drift off into a narcotic sleep filled with out-of-this-world dreams. This Portland, Ore.-based two-piece of guitar and drums, plus synths and loops, churns out a mix of post-rock, noise, drone and Krautrock that's heavily indebted to face-melting psychedelia. And it ends up being one hell of a mind-altering trip.
"Set and Setting" and "One Hit" kick the journey off, sounding something like a hazier version of Lightning Bolt, but with washes of reverb and slightly less aggressive intensity. On "Big Bounce," the group gets funky with simple beats, layers of squiggling synth and indiscernible psych pop vocals bathed in effects. Many of these tunes also veer into psych-freakout crescendos, but a keen ear for melody throughout keeps things grounded and interesting. The best example is "See Waves," an experimental homage to Afrobeat that's endearingly authentic but not derivative.
What really hooks me, though, is the kaleidoscopic variety in structure. The shifting timbres and loose forms on Extra Wow is what keeps me coming back for another sip from this wildly inventive punch bowl of sound.
Nice Nice plays the Top Hat Wednesday, June 30, at 10 PM with Modality and DJ Kris Moon. $5.