The Scottish conglomeration of musicians known as Nectarine No. 9 is a tough bunch to pin down. Throughout the '90s, the secretive group released three art rock albums on tiny independent labels to minimal fanfare (save for a handful of high-praise critical lauds by the British press). While this serves as a testament to the lads' artistic worth, commercial viability has always been a long shot considering that the Nectarine No. 9 sound is in no way universally pleasing. It takes a keen and patient ear to truly appreciate what frontman Davy Henderson and pals are really attempting to realize with the moderately accessible Received, Transgressed and Transmitted. The band's fourth album is a cut-and-paste job of experimental rock that pulls from many disparate genres of music -- popular or otherwise -- in an effort to create something original. Surprisingly, this feat is nearly accomplished without suffering from sonic schizophrenia as well. Received, Transgressed and Transmitted is the Cliff Notes version of the history of avant-garde rock. The opening track, entitled "Pong Fat," is pure lo-fi rock deconstruction reminiscent of the Fall and pre-polished Pavement -- distorted, atonal guitars, techno tweaks, and rusty drums. "Fibrecane No. 4" could very well be mistaken as a hidden track from an early Flaming Lips record, and "Foundthings" winks at late-century luminary Grandaddy as it wallows in a technologically induced, electronic freak-out session. At other points, Nectarine No. 9 digs a bit further back into the past with nods in the direction of the Captain Beefheart/Frank Zappa axis ("It's Raining for Some Cloudy Reasons") and even draws from War's soul and singalong vocal style ("Constellations"). Received, Transgressed, and Transmitted reveals Nectarine No. 9 as a unashamed product of its influences. Fortunately, these musical biases span the gamut of rock's rich history, and these admirable translators present their material in a way that is far from languid.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Bret Booth