There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Standout Track: No. 2, “Zebra,” which is packed with harmonies and has a compact power-pop exterior and some seriously hot licks. When not working as a trilingual administrative assistant for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Nunchucks’ guitarist and vocalist, Anthony Soltes Jr., writes songs soaked in the big guitar sounds of the ’70s.
Musical Motivation: Soltes loves bands like Queen and Iron Maiden, and it’s clear he thinks the world needs more dual guitar harmonies. “We love guitar solos,” he says. “We wanted a good guitar-rock album that stays true to our pop influences.” Drummer Nathan Ridenour interned at a studio in Brooklyn founded by producer Dan Long (Local Natives, Kevin Devine), and Nunchucks managed to snag him for the EP. The result contains exactly the appropriate amount of power-pop slickness.
Head Rush: Unlike the rest of the EP, “Zebra” is “probably the only one that doesn’t talk about what it’s actually about,” Soltes says. “It’s about biking around the city and almost getting hit by cars.” The frontman had a Zebra Tempest 10-speed—“the crappiest bike,” he says—that’s nearly gotten him killed numerous times. “When I told my sister why I wrote that song, she asked if I wore a helmet,” says Soltes. Despite her concern, he still didn’t buy one right away. “I actually did get into a bike accident a couple months ago,”he says. “And that’s when she really forced the issue.”