The cover of Magician's Rabbit by Nice Breeze.

Magician’s Rabbit

The pandemic influenced how local rock trio Nice Breeze recorded their new third album, Magician’s Rabbit, and played a role in some of vocalist Andy Fox’s lyrics, but musically, these self-proclaimed “abstract poet punks” are staying consistent with their discography. The group, which formed in 2014, utilizes buzzing chainsaw guitar, and minimalistic rhythms alongside sing-song, shouted, and spoken vocals. So while they didn’t record those elements live, with all of the members together in a studio as they usually do, they ended up with them mostly by having Fox record his vocals over already recorded instrumental takes. John Howard’s noisy string work continues to be inspired by a long string of loud guitarists from the 1950s to the present, including Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Hazel, and Lou Reed. Fox says he agrees with the late David Berman’s lyric “my favorite singers couldn’t sing,” and adds that “a song doesn’t need a ‘traditional’ singing voice to get a point across.” Drummer Martha Hamilton says her rhythms are always intended to support the initial ideas that Howard and Fox come up with. Fox notes that their song “musicmusicmusic (for viv albertine)” was born out of its opening lines—“staring at the wall / listening to The Fall / trying really hard to make sense of it all”—and the rest came quickly. “It now feels like a pandemic nostalgia song to me.” He says that song title comes in part from a realization that he and Howard were both reading the Viv Albertine memoir that inspired the name at same time. However, the song “John Candelaria” came from a memory of “the 1978 Kellogg’s issued 3D John Candelaria baseball card that was on the fridge of an old apartment,” Fox says. The album is available on Bandcamp. Free–$8.