Nectarine No. 9, It’s Just The Way Things Are Joe, It’s Just The Way Things Are

Keith Cameron

By Keith Cameron

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

It's Just The Way Things Are Joe, It's Just The Way Things Are

Nectarine No. 9
A compilation of parallel universe pop hits

Though their songs teem with insidious melodic barbs and their frames of reference — Beefheart, Velvets, T. Rex — constitute hipster staples, the Nectarine No.9 barely register even on the level of cult obscurity. This 14-track compilation spanning 1993-98 and the Edinburgh-based collective's first three albums deepens the mystery: these multi-layered vignettes of low-life ambiguity are parallel universe pop hits. Singer/guitarist/songwriter Davey Henderson's the emotional fulcrum, whether playing the dark-eyed crooner ("Walter Tevis," "The Port of Mars") or talking his patented corncrake jive ("She's a Nicer Word to Sing"). Amid the brute simplicity of the locked-groove interplay, there's much wounded romantic intrigue — “I have always loved the faults in yr design/There must have been a time when you fell for mine,” implores Henderson. How ironic that his first band, post-punk conceptualists the Fire Engines, garners posthumous legend while this far more commercial prospect remains off the radar.