Nightmares for a Week - A Flood Tomorrow (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Nightmares for a Week

A Flood Tomorrow (2009)

Music for End Times

Nightmares for a Week just bring it on this debut EP. A Flood Tomorrow provides five pitch-perfect, heart-poured-out declarations that, while pretty familiar, resonate in dynamic and enthralling form.

These are the type of tunes informed as much by alt-country as they are `90s emo and restrained punk acts, striking territory that never leans too close to either. If you dig the honest, sentimental prairie tones and driven pacing of the Get Up Kids' On a Wire and Attack in Black's Marriage, you'll love A Flood Tomorrow. Vocalist/guitarist Bill Manley's grainy delivery even sounds like a hybrid of Matt Pryor and Jim Suptic while retaining an emotion clearly all his own.

The tension mounted in "Smoking in Bed" is wonderful, balancing the band's mature outlook with youthful yearning and confident poise. At about 2:40, those haunting chords of Jawbreaker's Dear You swoop in; bassist/vocalist Sean-Paul Pillsworth offers a dual vocal portion seconds later and the emotional climax begins to burst, with Manley adding a panicked, passionate tilt to his agitated lines ("Frustrated now, we won't take this lying down / Half-mast to the death of your life / looking through this barrel of a gun").

"Tour Song" provides an able halfway point for the EP. It's not actually a Jawbreaker cover, but rather a lighter, more acoustic-based interlude of sorts akin to AIB's "Footprints." It's a necessary upbeat break before the darker shades of "Under the Wait," an incredibly delicate and heartwrenching song but with a fullness and drive that consistently keeps it sounding sincere.

Producer John Naclerio (dude recorded Polar Bear Club's The Redder, The Better; 'nuff said) caps A Flood Tomorrow with an ideal recording. One of the best EPs of the year, no question.

A Flood Tomorrow EP