With a lot of heavy rock leaning toward doomy and psychedelic, it's refreshing to hear an EP like the Nod's Twisted Romance, where solid, catchy hooks are favored over sludgy riffs. On the opener, "White City," the band subverts the stoner-rock template by being putting less emphasis on doom and more on energetic dynamism, and "Fix My Ride" infuses a song about cars with science fiction without sounding stupid. The standout title track doesn't stick with any formula, a subtle reminder that the Nod doesn't depend on conventional song structures. More than anything, though, the disc is proof positive that bluesy metal in the right hands and with intelligent lyrics can seem fresh and compelling rather than worn out and tired.
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