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Nice, Nice

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Album Review

By crafting sludgy punk rock under extenuating circumstances, the Cougars take rock & roll to the next level on Nice, Nice. While most bands operate on the "less is more" philosophy, working within the confines of guitar, bass, and drums, the sound of this Chicago eight-piece soars with blasts of trumpet on cathartic numbers like "Close to Fast, Loud, & Big" and "Michigan Sharky." Arguably the only group in the underground that doesn't fit under the ska umbrella to do so, Jeff Vidmont's saxophone and Mark Beening's trumpet are used to augment rather than overshadow these forceful proceedings. The manic, irresistible guitar-driven anthem "She Can Wear Gold" is a fine example of how the brass is used to highlight the Matthew Irie-fronted contingent. Irie, who croaks and barks like Greg Dulli on a bender, is careful not to hibernate in one particular style for too long, leading his troupe through the soulful, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion-ish "Mustard Is Pissed" before changing gears for the Fugazi-like frenzy of "Morocca." All the while, the Cougars never sound contrived, just comfortable and controlled on this stellar debut album. Nice, Nice indeed. ~ John D. Luerssen, Rovi

Customer Reviews

The Cogars rock!!

My cousin is the singer of this band!!

So Good.

Just a great album. Really kinda out there, but its good stuff. Very different.


Formed: 2000 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Chicago's Cougars formed in 2000 from remainders of local ska-ish heroes Hot Stove Jimmy. Eight dudes strong, their lineup included vocalist Matt Irie, keyboardist Sam Ambrosini, and guitarists Brett Meingasner and John Mclurg; a rhythm section of Bryan Bienias (bass) and Brian Wnukowski (drums, ex-Big'n); and horn players Mark Beening (trumpet) and Jeff Vidmont (sax). A huge sound was necessary to validate so many mouths to feed on tour, so Cougars opted for a trashy, slutty stumble of Jesus Lizard...
Full Bio
Nice, Nice, Cougars
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