The Venue: These Punks Ain’t No Joke


By:  Jeremy Gruen

Where: The Delancey, NYC

This week, I got to see another up and coming rock band that I’m super excited for – The Nectars. I first heard of them after I had received a link to one of the band’s newest releases, “Heaven”, from a friend who told me the band had been labeled with “Paramore vibes”. Now, when you think of Paramore, you should immediately think of the vocal talent of lead singer Hayley Williams. And because of such a standard that comes with the comparison, I was intrigued and couldn’t have double-clicked faster on the YouTube URL.

Let me tell you that Jessica Kenny, lead singer of The Nectars DID NOT DISAPPOINT. As I listened to the track, I noticed the resemblance was uncanny. Kenny exemplifies her penetrating chest voice over a rumbling instrumentation section and a lean ascending guitar motif in the chorus that is sure to have your heart beating to its own rhythm. I’m also convinced that Jon, the group’s co-founder/songwriter/bassist, took heavy influence from Paramore’s Riot! in creating some of these scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs jams.

When I was told Nectars was performing at a venue who’s distance was walkable from my apartment, I was quick to run over there for the door opening. Well, it turns out I was so pumped to hear this band, that I got there an hour before they were set to go on. It wouldn’t have been too bad, had I not been forced to endure a pretty questionable opening band called Flirtclub…

This group, consisting of a guitarist, a bassist/vocalist, and a drummer, set a shocking tone right away. As lackadaisical as the group introduced themselves, comparable was the transition into their opening song, which itself was difficult to comprehend as it seemed to be nothing more than political chant with a rhythmic accompaniment. As a 4/4 beat was poorly maintained by the drummer and a weak four-note bass line was repeated, the female guitarist shouted “Fuck You” at various political figures. I looked around at fellow audience members, only to notice that the crowd was divided into two; those as shocked and confused as I was and those who seemed prepared for the spectacle.

After multiple songs, the band casually walked off, leaving a terribly perplexed audience hoping for some sort of musical rectification. Our prayers were suddenly answered as The Nectars emerged from the crowd to take the stage. Instantly, one could notice a shift in confidence and professionalism between the two groups. It was only a matter of time before Mike had the slightly intoxicated crowd jumping up and down from the first “” drumstick count off.

Among some unproduced originals and some covers, the group performed their latest groovy single, “I Want It” live. The song involves some passionate pleading as well as a chromatic bass line walk that compliments the chorus vocals with some shocking dissonance. The song is all too reminiscent of the rock bounciness found in songs to the likes of Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”  As The Nectars continue to create and produce these emotional and attitude-filled punk ballads, one thing is clear. Between the songwriting talent in the bassist, the overall tightness of the instrumentation, and the gem of a vocalist, be on the lookout as this band definitely has the potential to make others worry about “Going Out Of Business.”

jeremy_80Jeremy Gruen is a staff writer with

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