by Robert Bell
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
Mad Nomad is one of the newer entries on the Little Rock musicscape, having formed in September. But they're not exactly taking the leisurely route, having already finished up their first full-length, the nine-song "Black Out," available at this album-release show.
The group plays an amped-up sort of indie rock that's informed by the classics (Replacements, Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr.) and unabashedly guitar-centric. They remind me a bit of the Springsteen-gone-punk sounds of Against Me! circa "New Wave." Most of the tunes are of the fist-pumping, triumphant sort, but they slow down the pace a bit on the Southern-rock-riffing "Me Tarzan, You Jane" and they break out the acoustic guitars on the wistful "When You Were Here."
The band includes Joe Holland, Jacob Mahan, Jesse Bell, Adam Hogg and Chris Honea. Hogg's piano playing adds some nice texture to the guitar squall. The album, good on its own merits for sure, is also a promising indicator of things to come. Good-time party-rockers Booyah! Dad and The Bootheel of Springfield, Mo., will open the show.