Three-piece Nitkowski carry a technical weight in sound that defies their membership. After the lo-fi ‘Chauffeurs’ début, the London act intended on carefully toning the heaviness of this second attempt in order to bring their sonic intricacies to the fore. It isn’t a bad decision.
Yes, the production on ‘Stay In The Home You Love’ is still lacking. But the live-recorded studio experience certainly suits the band, and if anything their sand-papery, rough-round-the-edges experimentalism has quite a desirable quality. ‘…You Love’ orders you to take a step back before indulging. It’s mathy, aggressive, passionate and clever all in one – and because of this hybrid quality – it has a wickedly entrancing, decrepit charm.
It shouldn’t fit together. At times it sounds like a soundtrack to people jousting in a back-alley with dustbins. But for some reason, it works. ‘You Alone Could Have Understood Me’ strays from the initial mathy mission-statement of first track ‘Crisp Crisp Sheets And Bright Bright Sunshine’. The unerring spoken words bring a strange feeling to Nitkowski’s presence – just after you thought you had them weighed up. ‘Shut Up And Swallow’ is an enveloping piece that gives more spoken word with post-punk edges that jut sharply into complex mathy rhythms. Nitkowski play with some serious technical strength when returning to the latter and it’s obvious they’re very familiar with the instruments they’re controlling. But it isn’t a trump card to brandish when inspirations run low – because they rarely do.
There’s only one thing left to debate – the dilemma of production. A move to a polished sound could soil the cagey atmosphere given off by this live-recorded studio album. But what if it’s different? With better production in future, who knows what Nitkowski could do – it could be something very special.