NATE GRACE: “Sevn Daze” c30 (Sonora Records)

There’s a lot to be said about genre fads, both good and bad, considering the negative connotation that the word “fad” comes with. Without turning this into some sort of college thesis about it, I want to state the fact that we all know that Ducktails has basically instilled a new craze for lo-fi beach-pop. It’s true, and if you need more proof, check out the Underwater Peoples Summertime Showcase comp., it’s all there. The good news is that, so far, it’s all been pretty darn good.

Enter Nate Grace and his Austinian cohorts, Jesse Jenkins and Austin Youngblood. Together, they play the golden trio of instruments (guitar, bass, drums) across five songs of tremolo bliss (it’s actually only 15 min., same program on both sides). Never mind the proficient quality of the original songs, their cover of “Pressure Drop” is worth the purchase alone. With clear writing structure, more CCR than they are Yo La Tengo, this really was a pleasant surprise and, on the second listen, these tunes already felt like old favorites. The quality is a little rougher than it probably could be, a little extra recording static, but that’s pretty much my only complaint. It’s a great EP and, sure, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who digs this sound (which is most of us), but I want to make it clear that the work is well-informed and that this dude’s not just another hayseed jumping on the bandwagon.

Comes with two handmade inserts in a stitched pouch wrapped in brown paper.