Ni are a French four piece predominantly instrumental band who play a very unique brand of experimental music. With two EP’s under their belt and a reputation for energetic live performances in their native country, Ni are set to unleash their debut album “Les Insurges de Romilly”.
The first thing which strikes you about the album is the frantic sound. Opening with a sample, “Boiuf” kicks in with what can only be accurately described as a clusterfuck of epic proportions in terms of sound. With some shrieks, angular polyrhythmic approaches and a very weak attempt at trying to sound like the bastard offspring of . Experimental noise is a very niche genre, you either get it or you don’t and this album is clearly one for those who really do ‘get it’.
Whilst it has some powerfully heavy moments, complex arrangements and intriguing leads and a really great bass at times, it’s a case of too much going on all at once across all the tracks. Maybe the idea of this album is to keep you guessing, not allowing you to get comfortable whilst listening to it… But then again, maybe some people actually want to hear some actual musical flow. In each song there is a moment where it sounds like progress is being made, but it just jolts about constantly and nothing concrete sounding ever stays down which is a shame because there are some small moments of promise. The end of “Bouif” has something which half resembles a powerful groove feel at times and “Rodomont” has an interesting build up in its intro which brings in the progressive element of their sound, but moments like these are very rare.
I could go with the Eurovision approach to this album and give “Nil Points” as some way to play on the band’s name and I will admit to trying to find a way to link in something Shrubbery related a la Monty Python, but much like this album, my mind is drawing blank here.