Night Surgeon - "Day For Night" Review

There is an extremely fine line between a fantastic, well-produced indie pop record, and a streamlined cookie-cutter indie pop record, magnified seemingly more than any other genre. Maybe it’s due to the fact that there is so much influence to draw from, the genre has become a bit of an influence-filled pool of ideas that have been re-hashed and re-hashed dozens of times.

Night Surgeon actually does a nice job of distancing themselves from their influences, while creating a unique sound that is all their own. The indie pop/electronic genre does have a bad reputation of churning out extremely similar sounding bands, but hyping each and every one up as the next Death Cab For Cutie.

It’s clear when listening to the Portland-based duo’s debut “Day For Night” that the band tried to stay away from those stereotypes. For a debut record, the ambition is what surprisingly sets it apart. It’s almost as if they heard a Chromeo record and decided to build on that, giving it a much more full and traditional sound.

Right from the opener “Color Me Black and White” the smooth synth arpeggios draw you in, and keep the songs on track. “Day For Night” makes for a very accessible foray into indie pop, especially for those looking to get into the genre. It can be a fun record at times, with no better example than on album centrepiece “Brick Moon” which dabbles with autotune in all the right ways.

“Day For Night” isn’t about to blow you away, and totally re-design the world of indie pop, but that does not mean it isn’t worth checking out. It builds on some very strong ideas, and is an altogether strong effort from a band making their first attempt at a record. The songs are simple, catchy, and everything that you would expect from a band such as this.

Standout tracks: "Color Me Black and White", "Brick Moon"

For fans of: Stars, Phoenix, Chromeo

Greg Balloch

Comment 1
George Prax's picture

Great review. Really liked what I heard from their album.