Friday, January 14, 2011
The Nils - "Scratches and Needles"
I think I've figured out my next Lost Classic candidate.
The Nils could probably be best described as the Canadian Replacements. They started out young, contained a pair of brothers who based out unbelievably tight punk with a wonderful sense of melody.
But unlike the Replacements, The Nils never found much success stateside; the band's most popular record, the eponymous debut that finally got released in 1987, only sold about 50,000 copies.
That's actually pretty respectable for a band's debut.
Unfortunately, The Nils signed a contract that prevented them from recording after their label went under. And the legal wrangling to try an remove themselves from such silly litigation wore the band out.
I had totally forgotten about them until tonight, when I noticed that debut album and immediately burned it to my ITunes library.
Sadly, when doing the obligatory "Where Are They Now" search, I found out that the lead vocalist/guitarist for The Nils committed suicide about 6 years ago last month.
He jumped in front of a train.
Alex Soria was one hell of a songwriter, adding yet another comparison to our Replacements counterparts. With a few better breaks, we may have spoken about him on the same level as Westerberg.
But life doesn't always work out like we plan it.
I was the same age as Alex, and it's a drag when you notice someone who has way more talent than you fall beneath the cracks.
But it's even worse when they don't even bother to get back up and try again.