In my first draft of this review I spent the whole first paragraph talking about how this sounds like the Paper Chase. Then it hit me, with Jon Congleton on vocals there wasn’t really much chance of ‘Dimples’ sounding like anything else. Then I listened again. There are elements of The Paper Chase, of course there are, but The Nighty Nite are so much more intense. In fact, they’re pretty terrifying. I would seriously not recommend listening to Dimples if you’re walking alone at night.
But do listen to this EP, it is certainly interesting, there is no real genre for music like this, so I’ll create one, for future reference. I think I’ll call this horror-art-punk-pop. Actually, that makes it sound shit. ‘Dimples’ is meticulously constructed, every single note is intended to evoke some kind of emotion; it’s essentially musical theatre. Oh god, that sounds shit too. Freak-folk! Does that sound good? It works though. This is freak-folk (I didn’t make that up, this genre actually exists!) at its freakiest.
There is one moment during the first song ‘Dimes in their Dimples’ which I feel epitomises the entire EP. About a minute and a half in there’s an all too familiar Paper Chase-a-like build up from the verse into the big chorus, with a huge crash of drums and a slick melody from Congleton. Or at least that is what you would expect to hear. Instead the chorus somewhat slides away with the minimum of fuss, it’s neat, it’s musically sparse, but it works. It builds up an atmosphere, or more appropriately, it builds the tension. At times the music sounds painful, like a backdrop to an Eastern European slash horror movie, there’s unintelligible noises and jingle bells – constant jingle bells through the first track. It is genuinely the only time I have heard jingle bells and not thought of Christmas. Perhaps ironically ‘In My Hospital Gown’ actually mentions Christmas.
If you’re a Paper Chase fan, you’ll love this, it’s impossible not to. It’s Jon Congleton doing what he does best – delightfully fractured pop. The similarities are definitely there, but The Nighty Nite are more experimental, they like to play with emotions and to challenge the listener.
Accept the challenge.