Music News

The Nein

Steel Pole Bath Tub was one of the more compelling casualties of the early-'90s major-label bidding frenzy that followed Nirvana's dark-horse breakthrough. After a decade of producing enigmatic, sample-addled drone rock, the outfit was dropped by London Records in 1996 for planning to release a disc that covered the first Cars album in its entirety, and it ended up disbanding. But Dale Flattum -- the architect of all those dense, pop-culture-pillaging collages -- has resurfaced in the unlikeliest of places: Durham, North Carolina, as a member of post-emo contender the Nein. The group, born from indie act the White Octave, existed as a trio for a year before adding Flattum to its roster a few months ago to record Wrath of Circuits, its full-length debut. The union is perfect: Mutant dance rhythms and spiraling riffs reminiscent of Trans Am or Les Savy Fav are granted extra dimension by Flattum's tastefully executed assault of sample-sliced madness. The Nein might not match the pulsing, sub-industrial psychedelics of Steel Pole Bath Tub, but it brings the noise nonetheless.