Happy Place” is the welcomed third release for Sydney wanna be punk rock band Nerdlinger. Fourteen tracks of fast melodic punk they have branded themselves with, but thrown into the mix are tracks that push the fine line of what is punk rock, allowing the boys to show a little bit of maturity and development as a band. Catchy and fun melodic punk rock for fans of Lagwagon, No Use For A Name, Bodyjar, NOFX, Blink 182. facebook.com/nerdlinger.punkrock
250 x Blue Vinyl
Shout Louder [UK]
NERDLINGER – Happy Place
Australian melodic skatepunkers Nerdlinger has delivered a smasher. FFO Lagwagon, Frenzal Rhomb and Teenage Bottlerocket. It’s summer and most of the world has been burning to a crisp in the past few weeks, so what better time to dust off your skateboard, cruise over to your friend’s BBQ and listen to some punk rock, delivered courtesy of Nerdlinger and their new album Happy Place. The Australian melodic skate punkers have covered a lot of ground both literally and figuratively since 2013 and it’s therefore no surprise that this album has both an energy and diversity to it that is damn refreshing in a genre that’s been going since the 90s. A fairly standard 30 second intro song starts things off, followed by guitar playing and melodies in both Contagious and Can Yu Forgive Me? that will have fans of Blink-182 reminiscing on a time when Tom Delonge wasn’t off somewhere chasing space men. The first four songs barrel past in under ten minutes and while there are the spicy riffs and drum fills associated with skate punk, there are also plenty of satisfying melodies that lean towards pop punk. The aforementioned Contagious is a prime example of an intro and verse that sizzle with intensity, before serving up a tasty chorus. Lead single Underrated is a palette cleansing change of pace in the middle of proceedings, showcasing a matured sense of sound and songwriting. It may not be their first foray into a less frantic style of pop punk, but for my money it’s their best to date. Fans of the faster stuff need not worry as the next song, Fat Gav, comes hurtling into the party with Jagerbombs for everybody. It’s a fantastic aural stampede of a song, that somehow manages to seamlessly blend in a jaunty bass line, searing guitar solo and a brass section. I don’t know who Fat Gav is, but his song makes me want to start a circle pit. Besides the slower introduction to Sunny Days, which would probably work well as a drunken late night acoustic singalong, the rest of the album keeps up the energy levels and the mild exploration of new sounds, styles and themes. German Wings could make it onto an I Can’t Believe it’s Not NOFX compilation (that I would listen to a lot), Song of the Damned has a slightly manic accordion section and Milk is the best non-alcoholic drinking song you’re likely to hear. Whatever your punk rock tastes, you’ll find something you like in Nerdlinger’s Happy Place. Review by Alan Corcoran
Punk Rock Theory [Belgium]
NERDLINGER – Happy Place
Aussie band Nerdlinger have reached their ‘Happy Place’ on their third release. And if you are like me and have been introduced to punk rock by all the 90ies acts on Epitaph and Fat Wreck, then you are guaranteed to get there with them. The drums are off to the races from the second opening track ’30 Seconds Of Satisfaction’ kicks in. Guitars either shred, harmonize or solo like there’s no tomorrow. And every song on here packs the kind of melodies that Blink-182 excelled at. You know, back when they still played solid punk rock instead of looking up to the sky for green aliens or helping the Navy capture Osama Bin Laden. ‘The Ballad Of Rod Lightning’ is anything but a ballad and one of my personal favorites on the album. Especially thanks to the waltz-y interlude. But there’s no shortage of solid songs on here and the band keeps it interesting by constantly changing gears, throwing in a duet (well, kinda) with ‘Sails’ and thanks to some unexpected horns that make an appearance in the slower ‘Song Of The Damned’. If you are into the likes of No Use For A Name, Lagwagon, NOFX or Frenzal Rhomb, do yourself a favor and dig out those baggy pants you still have laying around somewhere and turn ‘Happy Place’ way the fuck up.
Colorado Punk Rock Army
NERDLINGER – Happy Place
CPRA 2018 Album Of The Year Nominee? Yeah it’s that good. How many albums can you say you loved from back to front? If you’re like me. You probably only have 5-10 favorite of all time albums. The Clash, “London Calling” takes the number 1 for me. I get laughed at for that one, but in true Joe Strummer style I give zero fucks. Why bring this up when it comes to Nerdlinger’s, “Happy Place”?
Personally Nerdlinger is brand new to me. So this is coming from a virgin listener. So when I started up “Happy Place”. I started to quickly fall in love with the band. One of my favorite songs on the album is, ‘Contagious’. This fast paced song has some great lyrics, awesome riffs, and drums. I’ve played this probably 100 times now. It defines our definition of “Break Up Punk” to a T.
‘Can Yu Forgive Me?’, continues this blast of punk in your face. Again amazing fucking vocals! I really like the writing on this one.
“You can’t escape it It’s your quality of life Share the champagne Dance to Mac the Knife Thankfully it’s Only blood not wine”
‘The Ballad Of Rod Lightning’, slows it down a little. I really like the track placement as well. Yeah it slows it down a bit, but the progression quickly comes back with a blast. Sails’, has some catchy lyrics sure to have you dancing in your car. This song I feel is about not apologizing for being you. ‘Underrated’ slows the record down, but with more of a ballad type song. The drums and lyrics again take the high road. ‘Fat Gav’, probably my favorite on the album brings the speed to continue this kick ass record. The trumpet like ska-punk sound just adds that last amount of brilliance. I love the sound of the lead singer inhaling before the song starts.
‘Sunny Day’, I love the opening of the song leading into a full on crescendo. The song has somewhat of a dark undertone. It speaks of mental illness and depression, yet also the light a sunny day brings. ‘German Wings’, is another favorite of mine. This song talks about how fucked the United States is? Not sure, but it’s politically charged and amazing. “Either way, You’re Fucked”
‘I’ve Taken Five’, another great track right here. This song is basically about taking five from the shit you’re going through. The riffs and drums again are the highlight, yet the vocals are just perfect. ‘Miyajima Cockroaches’, are people done yet doing horrifying things to each other in the name of their so called, “God”. Another great politically charged song. ‘Song Of The Damned’, I love the lyrics on this one. They are catchy, heartwarming and kick some serious ass. “I demand a re-write of my life”. Hey Punk Tacos play this one! I doubt Iheart will read this since their too busy compiling their AI generated playlists. ‘Milk’, is just a fun little song. Sure to become an epic song of all time.
‘Superficial’, ends this amazing record. It continues the blistering pop punk sound they’ve perfected so far. Let me make this a wrap. “Happy Place” is now added to my list of favorite all time records. Overall Nerdlinger has crafted an album full of anger, animosity, helping the masses find their Happy Place. I’m definitely throwing this one into the box for a nomination for the CPRA Album Of The Year! Seriously pick this one up on a colored vinyl!
The Noise Floor
NERDLINGER – Happy Place
It’s not often that you hear a band playing 90’s style punk and think “Hmm, this is new…” but since about 2014, Sydney punks Nerdlinger have been doing exactly that for me. More and more with every release, their 2015 EP “Trendsetter” really stepped it up a notch from previous, and saw the band head All over Australia, to New Zealand, as well as properly overseas. To Japan. TWICE!! But, I digress.
Flash forward a few years, a couple of singles, and over 350 live shows, we see Sydney’s hardest working punk band doing what they do best. Fucking killing it! Signed to Pee Records for the release of “Happy Place,” Nerdlinger have just started on the first leg of their release tour, and they’re not stopping there.
The Verdict? 4/5. – It does exactly what we want a punk album to do, and then a little more. Happy Place has its highs and lows, and it does it with more depth than previous releases. It’s safe to say they’ve come a long way from Winnipeg, with a track in there that I think throws back nicely to show some retrospect. Favourite track: Underrated. Why? I think it’s a good snapshot of the record. But you can read more below:
What’s a punk album without an intro? Nobody knows. We’ve never tried. 30 Seconds Of Satisfaction is the fireball shot we need to enter this album, even though we know we’ve got 13 fast paced beers to chase it down with.
The second track flows in without taking a breath. Scotty McNairn’s Vocals tear in over the guitar arpeggio riffs that Nerdlinger is known for, and we’re away. Contagious is a punk song about moving forward, looking back. It might not be a new concept, but it’s just so damn relatable. it also gives us a quick heads up to how fast we’ll be moving with this album.
The next 2 tracks in Can Yu Forgive Me and The Ballad Of Rod Lightning fang through their verses, choruses, intros and outros like a bull at a gate. It’s fast, but it only took a few seconds to remember that Rod Lighting was both the first single off the album and one of my favourite songs to sing from the crowd, (check the woah oh oh’s and the oooohhhh’s) Sails see’s the band take a rest, for 17 seconds. (tac vom anyone?) A quick verse and that “All your happiness” harmony is gold! I was also stoked to hear Ash Wilderink have a little sing in the bridge, giving both this song, and the album some more depth. She also plays some brass later on!
The next track caught me by surprise a little: It starts slow, introspective and almost sad. The intro has a Blink 182 / Alkaline Trio vibe maybe? It’s a bit of a break from the breakneck speed so far. Then, almost exactly halfway through Underrated, there’s a change, and it all turns around! “Hold on tight to say the least” I Think We’re gonna be ok! I think one of my favourite things about this album is just how far this band has come since Trendsetter. The songwriting has taken a massive leap. Creativity has come out in droves, and the current lineup has totally gelled. Fat Gav combines Cannings’ ridiculous high BPM drumming ability with more great vocals, until the band gives way to Ash and Dave Berry on horns to bring it home!
The contrast in Tim Bulmer’s vocals in Sunny Days is huge, and hearing Scotty on BV’s just works. There’s even strings! Props to Antix on pulling it together in the mix. It’s really hard to be objective when you’re that close to the project.
German Wings has been a live winner for as long as I can remember (about 3 or 4 Nerdlinger live sets, at best) and is a testament to their musicianship. If you don’t believe me, come watch a show. They do this live, every time.
Miyajima Cockroaches blasts back into another 90s / 2000s melodic hardcore number, possibly about the shrines in Fukishima? I don’t really know, You’ll have to ask them at a show. But there’s also a nice little guitar solo in here.
Dave Berry is back, along with our mate Ess-Em on accordion on Song of the Damned. and it’s another party! There’s samples, sweet, sweet gang vox, and screaming. Milk actually fits with an older song cookies from “Back to Winnipeg” It also quotes Billy Madison, and while it’s obviously not a serious song, I still hope they play it during their launch shows.
Closing the album is Superficial. What a closer! There’s plenty going on and this track is a great recap of the musical prowess that is Nerdlinger. I can’t wait to see this song being huge live, and I just hope they play the whole album start to finish at their launch at the Chippo “Now that I know exactly what i want: To never be somebody, somebody that I’m not.”
Kraykulla Webzine [Croatia]
NERDLINGER – Happy Place
I mentioned several times how Australia has one of the best punkrock and hardcore scene out there and the bands and releases from there just keep proving it all the time. Nerdlinger are punkrock band from Sydney and this is their debut full length album out on Pee Records and I listened to it and reviewed it for this webzine. Since their beginning in 2012.these boys played over 350 shows and you can hear the tight musicianship in their songs. This album contains 14 excellent melodic punk hardcore songs. Nerdlinger plays melodic skatepunk hardcore in the vein of the 90-ies bands like Lagwagon, No Use For A Name and all the other Cali bands from that period that I love and listen to still today. The album varies from the faster ones like excellent “The Ballad of Rod Lightning” or awesome “Sails” to more slower punkrock anthems like “Underrated” .The lyrics are personal and as I understood they have a great deal of humour and self irony, but the music kept it˙s dramatic melody like only melodic punk can have. I would really love to see and hear these guys play live because I have the feeling this sounds thunder like live. I can already hear the crowd sing along with the band on “Sunny Days”. The vocals are very important for me in such bands and Scotty and Timothy deliver a fine job with strong main vocal lines and nice done anthemic backing vocals that are also important for me because with the lousy main and backing vocals you could ruin the whole record in my opinion, no matter how great the melodies are written. There are couple of surprises on the album that make the album special like great guest vocals on “Sails”, some trumpets or similar instrument on “Fat Gav”. Nerdlinger will soon embark on their tour in support of the album launch through Australia and their first USA tour, so if you are from that area, be sure to check them out as a must hear! Rating: 8.5/10