The Nickel Slots

White Lies & Cigarettes

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The Nickel Slots' debut is gritty enough to remind you of great alternative roots rockers of yore, but catchy enough to slip in among the cosmopolitan bar-poppers that have transformed collegiate Southern charm into multi-platinum sales (Hootie & the Blowfish, Matchbox Twenty). "Hollywood" is driving, catchy college rock, while "Hell of a Whole Lot Better" rides the back of power pop guitar muscle and frontman Will Marley's dead-on melodic songcraft. "Pages," meanwhile, is a somewhat starry-eyed tribute to the Replacements (featuring platitudes like "On the stage they rocked the crowd awake in a drunken rage"). Like North Carolina predecessors Dillon Fence, the Nickel Slots have a frontman with gritty pipes and an uncanny knack for writing hooks. By tethering those attributes to a sunny guitar crunch, they have made a promising debut.

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