Nada Surf, Karmic

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Anyone that grew up in the ’90s can recite the spoken word portions of “Popular,” Nada Surf's breakout hit from their debut LP, High/Low. The band had been around long before their novelty hit broke, however. In fact, they recorded an entire LP. But when their European record deal fell through, the group jumped at the chance to release some of what they had, while simultaneously shopping the rest around in the hopes of landing a major label contract. As a result, the Karmic EP served as a calling card of sorts, a series of rough sketches brimming with power-pop hooks and guitars tuned to the key of grunge. Ric Ocasek heard the results and knew the potential of “Telescope”'s guitar squall and vocal harmonies. He'd end up re-recording “Treehouse” and a batch of new songs with the group in a proper studio only a few months after Karmic's release and help vault this charmingly lo-fi band into MTV's Buzz Bin.