Posted by: Ryan Allen on October 16, 2008 at 10:00 am

The Nice Device, Sorry We Killed You (Self Released, 2008)

MP3: “Crawlspace”

After a brief hiatus spent Von Bondie-ing for the better part of the last year, Alicia Gbur, Matt Lannoo, and the rest of the Nice Device are back, blazing like a slickly produced power-punk fireball on their new EP Sorry We Killed You. The five songs included on their latest set adds fuel to the band’s ever-increasing flame, delivering a blast of sweetened power pop that will leave your teeth aching and your head spinning. Gbur’s soprano voice is at the forefront of the new songs, and her saccharine coos fall somewhere between the bratty snarl of pop-tart Avril Lavigne and the new-wave cheekiness of Berlin’s Terri Nunn (with a little Kay Hanley by-way-of her work on the Josie and the Pussy Cats soundtrack thrown in for good measure). “Ask me if there’s someone new, and I’ll tell you gladly,” Gbur sings before ripping into a chorus that is equal parts sass and class in “No Apologies.” “Can’t Be Friends” is biting and anthemic, full of “oh snap!” moments (“…you couldn’t even pawn yourself at the second-hand store”) that will leave no mystery as to who the barbs are directed. But Sorry We Killed You is not just the Gbur show, and Lannoo reasserts himself as one of the city’s best guitar players, ushering in crunchy power chords, slinky, effected lead lines, and screeching feedback from his six-string with gusto and flair. Drummer Nick Gerhardt yet again proves to be the band’s secret weapon, delivering understated, driving beats that connect seamlessly with the conjugated basslines of Jeff Alber. And it’s hard to ignore the new-wave synth sound that explodes throughout the entire EP, giving the short collection a glossy sheen that seems fit to be devoured by mall rats, Rentals fans, and nostalgic-for-the-80s rockers alike. Put all these elements together, and you’ve got a dangerous combination that will have all the boy bands that pose as “indie groups” shaking in their Chelsea boots. — Elle Sawa

The Nice Device EP release show w/ Friendly Foes + Millions of Brazilians • Magic Bag • 10/17

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