Nightmarathons are a tough band to pin down. Sure, they fit somewhere under that ever-widening punk umbrella, but it pulls from different areas without fitting neatly into any single substyle. To make a blanket statement, I’d say its heavily influenced by ‘00s punk across the board, with different singers who take the songs in different directions. There’s some first wave emo pull, some singalong urgency, plus more complex progressions that veer into new territory.
The word “melodic” is the most prominent term used in other descriptions, and that’s what pulls it all together. It’s somewhat mid-tempo punk that’s thoughtful and emotional in approach. Subtleties in progressions and vocal delivery are what define the energy.
Opening “Waiting Room” really sets the tone. The lyrics are personal and pained, seeking absolution from the day’s pain. The vocal and guitar tradeoffs keep the energy pushing forward. To get all metaphorical, the lyrics push uphill and then the music then seamlessly rolls downhill, gaining a momentum that offsets the negativity. It’s not an every-other-verse or song-by-song vocal tradeoff. Instead it’s often a verse-to-chorus transition and a rotation of the lead vocal role, more akin to latter era Lawrence Arms in that sense, letting each unique voice convey a different energy.
It’s tuneful and plotted, instead of being built around the fury of pent-up emotions. One press release says it’s part Hot Water Music and part Piebald. It’s not a description I would have come up with myself, but it hits the mark for sure. Personally, a lot of the Piebald-style bands didn’t hit within my own tastes, so either my tastes have changed with time or there’s a “crossed with” variable that pushes this over the edge. I really enjoy Missing Parts from start to finish. It has the diversity of post-punk with the emotion and brevity of the classic, core genre. It covers a lot of ground, but never strays too far or gets too stale. Personal favorites, in addition to “Waiting Room,” are “Warning Signs” and “Cull Your Heart.”
7.5 / 10
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Posted Feb. 23, 2019, 11:31 a.m.
Formed in 2016, Pittsburgh's Nightmarathons will release their debut full-length on March 29 on A-F Records. Named Missing Parts, the band fuses various punk-related genres for melodic punk with ...
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