Sure, the world has been glutted with post-grunge groups who've shamelessly aped Nirvana, marrying a melodic sensibility to steamroller guitars and punk aggression, ever since the band broke in 1991. Yet every now and then a band comes along that simply nails the formula. Manchester, England's Nine Black Alps is such a band.
With its pummel-groove rhythms, singalong choruses, and universe of searing guitars, the band's 2006 debut, EVERYTHING IS, is as satisfying as any hard-rock record to come along since Teen Spirit was in the air. Nine Black Alps craft compelling melodies (note the haunting vocal and ringing guitar refrain of "Unsatisfied") as naturally as they lay down accelerated tempos designed to rip the listener's head off ("Shot Down;" "Cosmopolitan"), and it all works smashingly. EVERYTHING IS doesn't write any new rules--in fact it follows the old ones pretty closely--but it rocks like no one's business, and therein lies its beauty.