Niece “Doubts” Single Review

Imagine chilling in a dimly lit basement adorned with Led Zeppelin pictures and Farah Fawcett’s classic red bathing suit pinup poster. There’s a smoky haze and the smell of reefer in the air and everyone in the room is seemingly transported on a mind-altering lyrical journey as the vinyl continues to spin out its 14 minute psychedelic power jam.  With their avant-garde style of music and incorporation of 1970’s progressive rock elements, UK hard rock band Niece is providing fans a throwback to the sounds of genre-bending rock epics and abstract lyrical sagas. Their debut single “Doubts” is a small taste of the massive potential these neo-prog rockers have at their helm.

“Doubts” touches upon hard rock and psychedelia, but at its core are soulful blues tones that elevate the single to new heights and transform the piece into something exceptional.  The song starts off with a dulcet jazzy intro. The sultry line picks up speed and crescendos into a groovy blues rock jam that carries on until the end. It’s powered by Sachio Ishigaki’s insanely slick basslines, riffs from Chrisian Morris, and Tom Roberts’ confident and steady drum beats.  Lead guitarist and backing vocalist Paul Heavy is unbelievable, almost channeling the sounds Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimmy Page. Central to “Doubts” appeal are the impressive vocals of front man Dan Wilson Stone, slightly reminiscent of Queen of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme. His powerful and seductive vocals intertwines beautifully with the trippy lyrics, such as “Gather round and tell a tale of how you’ve done so well and we all failed. Said count the wind in my sails and blow me away with what you exhale. Tired eyes and hungry mouth cutting holes in the pockets of everyone else. A waste of time to talk about, because all I talk about is myself.” At times “Doubts” does sound like a throwback to Cream or Zeppelin, but rather than creating a parody of blues and prog rock past, Niece finds a balance between 70’s nostalgia and new-age hard rock melodies.

“Doubts” is a finely woven tapestry of old and new, with a heavy blues influence, galloping riffs, intricate bass lines, and trippy stoner-rock sounding lyrics. Can’t wait to hear what’s next from Niece. If they continue to churn out more expansive jams, it won’t be long before they’ve joined the ranks of other neo-blues and progressive rock dynamos. Fans of Cream, Them Crooked Vultures, Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age, Stevie Ray Vaughn,  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Derek and the Dominos, or Dead Meadow check out Niece’s debut single, “Doubts,” because it’s vintage inspired, blues infused hard rock for intelligent humans played at its absolute best.

-Lauren L.


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