Preening - Nice Dice [7-Inch] (Cover Artwork)


Nice Dice [7-Inch] (2018)

Fine Concepts

On the one hand, this 7-inch sounds like Pee-wee Herman attempting to recreate a Circle Takes the Square record. On the other, there's a creative, punk spirit permeating the music that makes Nice Dice an interesting listen.

Oakland, CA's Preening makes spare, experimental punk music. I listened to the EP cold and did not realize that the band is primarily drums, bass guitar, and saxophone. I even mistook the saxophone at the beginning of the first track, "CPD," as a repeated sample of a woman's laugh. I'm not sure which option is more disorienting.

Most of the songs feature primitive shouts over stomping, repetitive downbeats. The vocals have a bewildered quality, as if the singer just woke up from a confusing dream. In some ways, the singing harkens back to fellow East Bay punks Christ on Parade.

There's a charm to the music here that you can enjoy without being snobbishly into art rock. Although, this EP is making me question whether I am really sitting here in suburbia writing this review; or if I am actually at a Rainbow Gathering in the woods, hallucinating this existence, while Preening plays live in a nearby tent.