“Nightmarathons melds varying punk, post punk, and first-wave emo influences to create their own unique take on melodic punk rock music… an echo of nostalgia, conjuring up that old feeling that you felt back in 2001 in that elks lodge right before those first chords rang out and changed your life forever.” This an excerpt from Nightmarathons’ own description of their sound. If you’re anything like me, your first thought is something like, “Dear god, please not another Beach Slang!” Claiming to capture the essence of what made you fall in love with music 15+ years ago in a wholly original sound is a difficult road to walk. Most bands that go down this route end up sounding like they’re talking out of their ass and the whole thing falls apart. Thankfully, Nightmarathons have come along and accomplished in four songs what Beach Slang has attempted to do with their whole career, while not being unbearably shitty at it.
Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Nightmarathons is composed of members who have spent plenty of time in other bands making all the mistakes necessary to get to where they are. Music is an unforgiving business and can lead to some hard times. Their self-titled EP aims to bear its heart full force as the songs all have a sense of urgency, as if writing this album was the therapy the band needed to get through life’s short comings. Themes of depression, remorse, and disillusionment ring through each of the songs as singers Corey and Stowe alternate vocal duties. Songs “Seeping” and “Arrogance”, which are far more straightforward in their presentation and are reminiscent of more modern acts like Spraynard and RVIVR, are immediately offset by “Pain” and “Demascus” which bring to mind bands like Sunny Day Real Estate or early Jimmy Eat World. The band combines all of these influences into a sound that may not offer much in the way off feeling good, but does present a hope that by coming together and sharing in what so many love, that we can persevere.
There is a lot to love about this EP. While the subject matter is heavy at times, the guitar leads throughout are bouncy and lively and serve to perfectly compliment the rest of the arrangements. It’s the perfect excuse to get up and dance away life’s woes while singing along with your friends in a dark basement. Nightmarathons have given us such an exciting debut and lay the groundwork for whatever comes next and I can’t wait.
A solid 1998/2017