The Nim Nims took a few months off this past summer to put together a rather epic second album.  I love this band.  They are a clever band, with a unique sound and thought-provoking lyrics.

Due to the early deadlines of the holidays, I was not able to give The Nim Nims a full write up, nor did I review the CD Patten Towers.  You should all know by now that a Nim Nim deserves more than that, and five Nim Nims—well, let’s just say that you don’t want to mess with an angry gaggle of Nim Nims.  So I will set the record straight right here, right now.

First off, the title won me over.  I have to admit that it makes my Chattanoogan blood warm whenever a local place is immortalized in an album or song.  The CD case has pictures of Patten Towers for the cover and the back as well.  Yay, Chattanooga.  The first song on the album is called “Missionary”.  The song starts with a deep swamp sound, with rebel rock around the edges.  I like this song because it fearlessly points out the hypocritical constructs of some religion.

“All those Pagan rituals are from barbaric fools/ Come with me now and I’ll dunk your head in a pool/ So sure, I’m right that I don’t need any proof/ and if I need some advice/ I won’t be asking no humans.”

I think this is spot-on, but then again, I love anything controversial.  The second song is called “King”, which takes on a more Shins vs. Built to Spill feel to it and houses some of my favorite lyrics.

“I’m the King of Stories Not Worth Mentioning, so you must be the Queen of Listening/Somehow you find me still quite interesting/Sometimes I think you should rethink some things.”

How delightfully self-deprecating, yet slightly romantic.  It makes me want to wear a V-neck.

Song three, “Dead Sober”, is a very powerful song driven by more of that sweet bayou rhythm.  It confronts head-on the frustrations of dealing with an addict, and contemplating giving up on them.  “You’ll be dead when you’re sober/But you won’t be sober ‘til you’re over,” is one of the pounding repetitions in the chorus.  “I should feel guilty, thinking I had no part/ And I should feel guilty for not feeling guilty.”  I personally have had this exact thought, and could relate to the guilt of not feeling guilt when society tells you that you most certainly should feel guilty.  It names our towers in relation to the high of a cocaine addict: “If those shoes are made of powder, won’t you jump off Patten Towers?”   It’s a very potent song that most people could relate to but truly wish they couldn’t.  Listening to the song may in fact make you feel guilty for liking it so much.

The fourth song makes the listener think there could be a possible theme going on, with “Pills” being the title.  This song is complex and heavy with truth, the words being equally as intense as the layering.  It delves into the realness of a severely medicated world and the consequences of medicinal technologies, and questions if it’s all really necessary.  It has an early Modest Mouse tone to it, which is the only Modest Mouse tone worth having.

The song begins with, “These pills, they keep me calm, but then they keep me awake/You got pills that put you to sleep, maybe that’s what I should take/Then I can’t get back up, all day I’m frustrated/Better living through modern chemistry starts to frustrate/I think they got a pill for that.”

The vicious and addictive cycle of the quick-fix solution to just medicate.  If this is a dose of reality, then I’ll take two.  Song five, entitled “Vindicated” is gorgeously structured, so much is going on in the background with the music and effects that it illustrates the haunting story with sound.  It’s one of those song stories where you almost feel like you are there.  If saying that makes me sound like a hippie, well, so be it.  Listen and you’ll understand, man.

“Not Bad” follows with a tempo-traveling, heavy, indie-rock sound, reminiscent of Dixie Dirt, which is a complimentary comparison for me to make and mean.
“Words” revisits the sound of Modest Mouse but only if Bright Eyes joined the band and Isaac sobered up.  This is the kind of song you should learn from, kids.  Self-awareness is good; I’m a fan.  Next, is “Blowfish.” if Lenny Kravitz and The Cure were in a dorm together, their band would probably sound like this, and I would probably book them at my next kegger.

“Lemmings” is my favorite song on the album, as it is full of the familiar “get on the dance floor” mojo that made me get into The Nim Nims to begin with and it doesn’t even have the cowbell.  It deals with the horrible truth of growing up and becoming a cookie-cutter, blue-collar worker, while making you dance around like you finally accepted it. Impressive.  “Picture” is what it promises and “Narcissistic Delight” describes the exact reason I don’t go to bars in chain restaurants.