The Nico Blues
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The Nico Blues

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"'s July 2012 Playlist"

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"Soundcheck: The Nico Blues"

"A thousand miles don't seem too far/when you're singin' for sidewalks and playing for empty bars

It's your actions not your friends that define who you are/When you're singin' for sidewalks, playing for empty bars." – "Three's a Crowd," The Nico Blues

For Wayne quintet The Nico Blues, being a new, independent band means non-stop writing and recording, hustling to promote shows and gigging where the schedule allows (two members are college students). It also means playing to the occasional empty club. But the way this band sees it, every show is an opportunity to make at least one new fan. In short, every effort is worth it.

Buy this photoWayne-based band The Nico Blues: Reed Adler, Danny Goldberg, Skylar Adler, Evan Campbell and Eric Goldberg. "Any local band that tells you that they go on tour and play for a packed house every night is full of [expletive]," says Reed Adler, the band's lead guitarist. "So as long as we are able to play for people, that's really all we ask."

True to their D.I.Y. mentality, the guys – rounded out by lead singers and instrumentalists Eric Goldberg and Evan Campbell, drummer Skylar Adler (Reed's younger brother) and guitarist Danny Goldberg (Eric's younger brother) — spent three years building a studio in the Adlers' family basement, released a self-produced EP and full-length album titled "Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements," and embarked on a 15-date East Coast tour in 2009 in spite of The Nico Blues' short, 1 1/2-year history.

"We demand a lot of ourselves," Adler adds.

That's one way to put it.

BEGINNINGS: The members, now in their early 20s, met in elementary school and have been lifelong friends, playing together in various bands for nearly a decade. The Nico Blues started when Adler, Eric Goldberg and Campbell returned to Wayne after attending various colleges.

"We never took it all that seriously until The Nico Blues," says Adler, who now lives in Brooklyn with Goldberg.

The band name was inspired by Shannon Hoon, the deceased lead singer of one of their favorite bands, Blind Melon, who had named his daughter Nico Blue, after the Nikko Blue hydrangea.

INFLUENCES: No two songs are alike on the band's latest, but tight harmonies, catchy hooks and beat-driven grooves carry over to each track. The guys attribute their multifaceted sound to a spectrum of influences that include Bob Dylan, At the Drive-In, Smashing Pumpkins and Blind Melon. The Nico Blues have also been compared to alt-rock band Pavement and the Grateful Dead.

"We never want to do the same song twice," says Eric Goldberg. "We constantly try to top what we did before."

FROM THE GROUND UP: Despite a strong repertoire of tunes, the guys know it's an uphill battle to build their fan base. Still, they're picking up on the positive feedback.

"Around North Jersey and [New York] we play good shows now, because we have people that'll come and see us," says Goldberg. "It's hard to create that following, but we're going to play as many shows as we can."

OTHER ASPIRATIONS: Having invested both personally and financially in their home studio (Adler says his and Skylar's bar mitzvahs are partially to thank for covering the studio's five-figure cost), the guys are looking to expand on their self-made label, Tiny Giant Records, and have begun to open the space to other bands looking to record.

"We hope to do more of that in the future because we feel like we could definitely put Tiny Giant Records together with the help of our studio," says Adler.

Goldberg, who pushed to release The Nico Blues' record on their own imprint, sees big things for their label's future.

"It's totally been a dream of mine to have my own label … so it's a work in progress," he says, but adds, "Obviously, if there's a bigger label that was interested in us, we'd be like, OK. But until that day comes, we'll just have to keep doing it ourselves."

"The Nico Blues: Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements"

So, yesterday I was screwing around on twitter when i noticed that I had a brand new follower! After revelling in the small euporia that a “bump” of acceptance can generate, I investigated them a little further.

Turns out they are an NJ-based music group with an album available for free download via their site. What a perfect opportunity for me to really get an idea of someone’s sound right off, and see if I would eventually regret giving them my email address (the cost of the album download).

So, first of all I have to say that I feel justified in putting these kids on blast here because some of NJ is or might as well be NYC…and there’s a good chance you’ll see these people here in the future anyway. With that, let’s delve into the nuts and bolts with three random tracks from the record:

Three’s A Crowd: Every album, like every show, needs a great opener. This track is certainly a good introduction to their sound. It’s got catchy riffs, great energy, and pretty clean production. This track and many of the others on the album kinda give me an alt core vibe if I had to put my finger on anything specific.

Living Proof: I had such a crazy Billy Corgan moment with this song that I instantly loved it. The vocals really sounded at times, to me at least, like some of his early work. Again, the production on this song is great and the kind of flowing yet still crisp guitar work makes it a definite transit playlist track for me (that’s a good thing, by the way).

Don’t Forget To Breathe: An excellent little uptempo rock track I could see being a great live number for a serious injection of energy.

The Nico Blues almost certainly have been influenced by early indie rock, punk, and the original alternative scene. All of which they manage to blend in a pretty fun way on this record.

Sniffing around the internet, I’ve learned that they do their own production in a built from scratch studio, which is just astounding. Just the way they manipulate certain moods with balance variations is pretty excellent. Regardless of what you think of the product, that’s absolutely awesome for an indie act to have that kind of mastery over their own sound.

Most certainly worth a listen and download, I’d also suggest throwing them a donation for the obvious hard work put into producing the album.

I feel like I should have some sort of culminating “rank” for this, but I honestly don’t have that kind of system thought up or set up. If I had to grade this album, I’d give it an A for the variety, production, and energy.
- NYC Music Nerd

"Schwindy's Indie Music Spotlight"

The Nico Blues is a 5-piece band from New York with a full-length album Tall Tales of Tiny Giants and a DIY eponymous EP to its credit. The EP was recorded in a studio crafted by the band members.

This EP begins with a song ("An Hour in a Half") that definitely seems inspired by late Beatles stuff, particularly at the beginning of the song. This song has layers of sound, a heavy psychedelic influence, and pretty solid harmony vocals.

The second track "Sirens" has a little more raw garage-type sound that reminds me of another New York band, The Compulsions. "Seven Noble Sins" is a high-energy indie rock romp with some well-placed screams.

Speaking of screams, about three minutes into "Black Window," there are three screams that punctuate an otherwise mellow song. I cannot presume to tell the guys in the band how to write their songs. All I can say is that while the loud guitar and screams in this song were unexpected, they seemed a bit out of place to me.

That's about the only negative thing I can say about this well-done EP. It is just a taste (only 6 songs) of The Nico Blues, but it shows the band's range, from garage to psychedelic to the melodic layered sound perfected by bands like Apples in Stereo. And I have good news. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, the band has made the EP available to download for free. That's right. You won't find a better price than that. And even more good news: the band is working on a new album, due out soon.

- The Examiner

"Interview: The Nico Blues Not Crazy, Just Insane"

On Saturday December 12th 2009, I pulled up to long time friend Reed Adler's Studio in a town we call home: Wayne, New Jersey. As I walked up to the door and into the studio, I found Reed, Evan, Eric, and Skylar sprawled out on, below, and around a couch positioned directly in front of a television that no one seemed to be watching. The guys were having a hang sesh, with all the key elements: music, beer, and pretzels. I walked in with my good friend, photographer Hayley Treanor, and we immediately joined in the festivities.

As I sat down and settled on to a smaller plushy couch, I grabbed my handy gold Radio Shack branded tape recorder, Evan grabbed me a beer, and we got to talking.

I discovered that band members Eric Goldberg, 22, (vocals, guitar, bass), Evan Campbell 22, (vocals, guitar, bass) Reed Adler, 22, (lead guitarist, bass), Skylar Adler, 19, (drums, and sound engineer), and absent Danny Goldberg, 19, (rhythm guitar) have quite a history together. Aside from almost everyone in the band being related, these guys have 18 years of history with each other. Reed, Eric, and Evan have been friends since they were tots in Kindergarten. They started their first band in the third grade, calling themselves "The Stupids." The guys have come a long way since 1996 and writing Green Day parodies. They became serious about music around 2001 when they started their first real band and began playing local shows. They have been in a handful of musical projects during the course of those eight years, but it wasn't until the summer of 2009 when they realized what they had been looking for was finally within reach. The Nico Blues's self-titled album was recorded in the band's studio during this past summer, and released right after Reed and Eric returned from Europe on July 28th 2009.

After the album's launch, the band immediately went on a small tour, traveling up and down the East Coast to promote their new record. The band traveled to Connecticut, New York, Boston, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland to complete a total of 15 shows.

When asking The Nico Blues what genre they can best describe themselves as, they answer with the very inspired and original answer of "post-alternacore folk funk." What is this? No. What isn't it? This self-designated genre is plainly saying "Hey, we can be a little bit of everything." With interchangeable vocals and instrument swapping, The Nico Blues aren't trying to be just another carbon indie rock copy. "We want to offer something different to the audience, and hate repeating ourselves, so our melodies are going to be different," Campbell expressed. The EP offers an interesting mix of fun, finger snapping tunes. "Elsie's Hooked on Second Chances" is a stand out track that offers an upbeat angst with a strong melody and shared vocals. The song simply states "I have been here the whole time and you haven't noticed," something most of us can relate to. That's the winning quality about The Nico Blues. They have a way of singing to their audience in a completely relatable way. "Holiday Song" is about Eric working during the holidays and hating the contrived commercialism. In the song "An Hour in a Half," Evan is singing about working at his college's public safety office and the droning boredom surrounding it. The band has a very humble ego and is simply making music for the love and passion of playing it, a rare quality for any indie rock band these days. The Nico Blues have shows coming up at Doc Watson's (Philadelphia), Sullivan Hall (NYC), and The Pantry Party at the Wayne Firehouse (NJ). Look for their next album, scheduled to debut in February 2010.

Email Them @

Follow them on Twitter @thenicoblues!

"The Nico Blues Play Maxwell's"

On Saturday, June 25th, The Nico Blues rocked Maxwell’s socks off- and thoroughly enjoyed doing it. “Maxwell’s is the best place to play in New Jersey. The club itself is legendary, having been host to Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Replacements, and Soundgarden- just to name a few. The club has a great sound, and all the bands from our New Jersey scene play there. We have friends that work at the club including Mike Sylvia, who runs Killing Horse Records out of Kearny, NJ. The club is very intimate and, unlike most clubs, they are very generous. They feed the bands for free. You just have to tip your waiter,” says the band, who were happy to be back at Maxwell’s after playing there for the third time.
Not only do they have a blast playing at the club, they’ve even recorded footage at Maxwell’s to use in their upcoming video, “Folk Song Number 2,” in addition to using the assistance of Carson Kopp, the “sound guy,” to lay down some drums tracks to use as demos for their next album. Whenever they get the chance to hang out in Hoboken they love the fact that it is “a very cool place, surrounded with lots of young people” – just like them.
Although the band has only been together for a little over two years, the guys feel like family, and some of them actually are- Danny and Eric are brothers, and so are Reed and Skylar. When asked how they’ve come together, their reply was interestingly interconnected: “Well, we were all kind of born in to it. Eric, Reed, and Evan have been friends since grade school and Danny and Skylar were born in to friendship. We played in various bands throughout high school, but when Eric, Evan, and Reed were graduating from college in 2009, Eric dissolved their band at the time and decided to start a new band with Evan. We all agreed to call ourselves 'The Nico Blues'.”
The Nico Blues classify themselves as Alternative Rock, with an interesting mix of sounds like a “punk influenced late 80’s surf rock band who digs Led Zeppelin as much as Husker Du and as much as the Grateful Dead.” They use Alternative Rock as a broad category that covers all of their influences.
Not only are these guys cool, interesting, and talented, but they’re educated too! They felt their calling early in their adult lives, moved forward, and progressed quickly, “We decided to start the band a month before we graduated college in May 2009. We came together, practiced for two weeks, recorded our first EP, and went on tour for the summer. That winter we recorded our first album ‘Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements’ and released it in July 2010. We play in a band because we all feel a deep need to do so. We don't do it to be trendy or cool. Each member of our band has a deep love for music,” says Eric and Reed in reflection of the band.
In addition to ‘Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements,” they had also released a self-titled EP in July 2009. Self proclaimed as self-sufficient, and rightfully so, they also run their own label called Tiny Giant Records with their friends Holy City Zoo, another band that played at Maxwell’s on Saturday, where they’ve recorded both records.
Download the band’s album "Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements" for free or pay-what-you-want at Or check out the band’s releases at New Jersey has a great scene; a lot of the bands The Nico Blues play with are part of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective. Check out the $8 shows at Maxwell's and you'll see some amazing New Jersey bands! - H-Magazine

"Why Every Festival Should Be Like Northside"

Day two for the festival brought light to their true goal: new artists. In a small bar in Brooklyn, the Seminar promoted The Nico Blues, a small band of New Jersey natives trying to get noticed. Their melody driven guitar tracks made them a surprisingly enjoyable show to watch. "It's really great to be featured in a festival that features new artists," says vocalist Eric Gouldberg. "It's always nice to get recognized." Organized with two sets of brother's and a college buddy, The Nico Blues is the type of band that deserves recognition. Their melodies are smooth but heavy hitting driving a connection with the audience that's impressive for a band in such an early stage of their career. "We just try to keep our sound open, a lot of what we do is influenced by who we have listened to growing up, but a lot of it relies on who we're listening to now. We don't want our sound to stay too static." So far the group only have a EP released but they show tremendous potential.
- Baeble Music

"The Nico Blues - Die Happy"

The Nico Blues’ Die Happy, which was released earlier this year, is a six-song EP that fluctuates between high-energy ass-kicking jams and some slower yet still rocking ones thrown in. The North Jersey band has a strong DIY principle, which tessellates into their raw, yet polished recordings. The release starts off with “Dementia In Three Dimensions,” which has a laid back, shoegazing vibe to it. Although it’s perfect just to kick back to, the cut still packs a punch. Almost immediately, the mood changes with the catchy “Sinking Or Standing.” Full of loud and dirty vocals mixed with guitars, the outfit’s second number has the tone of Die Happy changing almost as fast as it was set.

Throughout the release, the quintet’s sound constantly changes, going from up-tempo and infectious songs to much mellower ones. Such is the case with “Melodic Death Jam,” which shows that with its long instrumental piece, the band can still stand on their own. “I Could Be Your Pet” is quite possibly the strongest track on the album. It’s hooky, bouncy, and on the overall, it just makes you feel good. As an added bonus, the song could easily be applied as a cute romantic song or one of an over-obsessing significant other who doesn’t want to leave your side. “Mugshot In Princeton” has a twangy folk feel that isn’t really seen in any of the other cuts on Die Happy. The EP closes out with “Happy Medium,” another brash track that makes the album come full circle.

There isn’t really anything negative to say about the release, other than that it’s too short. Either way you slice it, Die Happy is a hit from start to finish. - The Aquarian

"The Nico Blues Win This Weeks Freshmen"

In the comments section, it came down to a duel between Love, Robot and The Nico Blues. Congrats to both groups for receiving such solid fan support. Ultimately, the votes have announced that The Nico Blues are your Freshmen winner for the week. Their video will be added into regular on-air rotation by Monday. Don’t forget to swing by next week for a new round of artists and a new chance to vote. Until then, have a great weekend. - MTV U

"The Nico Blues: Die Happy (and show @ Copperfield’s 4/6)"

New Jersey-based The Nico Blues recently released their latest EP, Die Happy, and will be coming to Copperfield’s (98 Brookline Ave, between Fenway Plz & Overland St) on Friday, April 6 (9pm show). Have a listen below to their cool, warm-and-fuzzy ‘pop grunge’ sound. The EP was recorded, produced and mixed in their basement, and released on their own Tiny Giant Records imprint, part of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective, which they co-founded. If you like what you hear, you can ‘name your own price’ and buy it on bandcamp. Help support these guys! - Boston Survival Guide

"Holy City Zoo And The Nico Blues Drop New Singles For Valentines Day"

Holy City Zoo and The Nico Blues are bands of a common musical feather, not in style, but in company, as the Indie-Rock outfits fly under the Tiny Giant Artist Collective flag, a musical faction that includes such well known area acts as Brick + Mortar, Green Paper, Those Mockingbirds, and more, and when the clock struck midnight officially marking Valentines 2012 the pair dropped a new single apiece from their forthcoming EPs.

“I Could Be Your Pet,” is the first song to be dropped by The Nico Blues off the Wayne, NJ collective’s February 29th release Die Happy, a six song collection and follow up to the band’s lauded 2010 full-length Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements.

The Nico Blues latest piece of Indie-Pop rock candy is a love song of the metaphorical sorts…or maybe its strange. ”Put a collar around my neck,” croons front-man Eric Goldberg. ”It might not be ideal but it could work/I could learn new tricks if we get bored/Getting back to you is my only chore.” Is this the personification of one’s immense love for another through animal ownership symbolism, or the call for a Wilfred-type relationship through a hook-laden tune caked in fuzz? I suppose, that question is best left for the listener to decide…grab the tune below:

“WW5? is the opening salvo to Holy City Zoo’s forthcoming collection of cauterized Post-Punk dubbed Nobody Sells For Less, for which a release date has yet to be announced. The three-minute scorched earth composition is a landslide of hellish imagery infused with the fluffiest of floating sheep presented at a feverish pitch and played out over a barage of sizzling six-string manipulation. Grab it below: - Speak IMGE

"Interview with The Nico Blues"

Growing up in the same neighborhood helps to form bonds between band members, however, a stronger bond is the bloodline. The Nico Blues are a band made up of two sets of brothers and a longtime friend who is family regardless of genes. The quintet, who are originally from the Northern New Jersey area, have been tearing down the basic walls of the music scene and expanding them through their artist collective, Tiny Giants. Their loud, melodic blend of rock and folk has helped the band reach fans not only locally but all over. With some hard work and determination The Nico Blues beat out some tough competition and won a contest sponsored by mtvU and had their music video for one of the their most successful songs, “Living Proof” aired on the college channel.

2011 was a big year for the five-piece, however, 2012 is going to thrust this band into a new light with the plans to release two six track EPs, the first one being released in February. Below, the band talks about their releases, the CMJ Music Marathon and the Tiny Giants Artists Collection.

You guys have a new album coming out? When?

Eric Goldberg: Yes! It’s probably going to come out the end of February. It’s called Die Happy, it is a six song EP and we’re going to be releasing another six song EP later on this year, but we don’t know what that one’s going to be called.

How did you come up with the title for the EP?

EG: I think I said it to Reed (Adler) one day that I just want to die happy.

Reed Adler: I was just like ah!

EG: We also haven’t come up with anything better.

So what’s the deal with you guys and Killing Horse Records?

RA: They’re re-releasing our EP, Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements. We didn’t “sign” a deal with them, that’s not how we work. We’re all part of the same collective, Tiny Giants Artist Collective, and we all want to help each other out. They wanted to help us out by not letting our old album die.

Where can people find Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements other than through Killing Horse?

RA: is where our album is. That’s where any music, news, [and] video will be. Also Facebook. But yes,

EG: Killing Horse is just releasing our old album; we’re releasing the new one on our own. So it’s probably going to cost $5 on Bandcamp, or iTunes.

2011 was a huge year for the band, between all the hype through The Deli and playing the CMJ Music Marathon. How has it been for you guys?

EG: CMJ is great if you’re a band from Canada who has a lot of buzz. But if you’re a band who frequently plays New York City than no one cares about you.

RA: We have had a good year. We’ve made a lot of new fans and our artist collective, Tiny Giants, has gotten off the ground. Everybody is getting involved. We have our minions; it’s almost like Fight Club. You walk around and see members but don’t want to say anything so you wink. That’s what Tiny Giants is like.

Evan Campbell: It’s just showing that we’re doing something right. That we’re going in the right direction.

Where did the concept for the Tiny Giants Artist Collective come up?

EG: I always wanted to start a label called Tiny Giants Records but I don’t have the time or the resources to start a label so our friends in Holy City Zoo to make it a collective, an artist collective, so we started the Facebook group. We started adding bands that we play with here and there. There’s a lot of pockets of scenes in New Jersey so I figured why not just unite them under one banner.

RA: Instead of us just being in charge, we wanted to start something that everyone was in charge. It’s been working slowly but surely.

How did you guys react to your video for “Living Proof” airing on mtvU?

EC: We never thought we’d be on it.

It was a contest, so do you know how many votes you got?

RA: I know how many I put in. But I know we got thousands and thousands. It was the first step of Tiny Giants coming together—we needed man power. The others didn’t have collectives behind them.

EG: We were just ready. Plus our video was for our own merits—we don’t have a management company backing us up. It just got on because it’s good and the song is good.

EC: Or Chris Brown featured in our music video.

How are fans in different states?

RA: We played in Maryland recently. It was different but fun. We played a pizza place. We’ll play anywhere, even if the place doesn’t sell pizza. This place luckily did. There wasn’t a ton of people there but it’s fine because we don’t know a lot of people in Baltimore. We just hung out on the streets, handing out stickers and that’s how we do our out-of-state promotion.

EC: We’re looking forward to going back there in summer when there will be more people around and hopefully it won’t be as freezing.

How will Die Happy differ from your previous releases?

RA: It’s gonna kick more ass.

EC: It’s more us.

EG: Now we’re trying to be ourselves more. Me and Ev are writing better songs so it’s helping us write a better album. We had a better idea of what sound and style that we wanted going into it. We had a better vision going in than we did with the last album. Skylar, our drummer, is also our recording engineer and he’s doing this one too. He has more knowledge of what gives the right sound. We wanted it to sound like our own thing, like nothing we’ve ever done before.

RA: We have our influences but it sounds like us. I’m pretty proud of the way it’s coming.

What are your personal favorite songs off of the release?

RA: “Melodic Death Jam.”

Danny Goldberg: Mine is the first track. The structure is different, the delay effect that Skylar has on the vocals is really cool.

EV: Mine is probably “I Could Be Your Pet.”

SA: I like “I Could Be Your Pet” and the first track that Danny was talking about.

EC: Maybe “Mugshot In Princeton.” It has a really big chorus and is slightly autobiographical.

What else can people expect from The Nico Blues in 2012?

EG: They can expect overdoses, breakups, [and] make-ups.

RA: Sex, lies and videotapes. Nah, but there will be a bunch of live shows, new music. Just come out to a live show. We’ll be around Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Philly, well over a dozen times in the first half of the year.

EG: We’re just gonna kick ass.
- The Aquarian

"The Nico Blues Heat Up Vibe Lounge"

The Nico Blues, an alternative rock band from New Jersey, heated up the Vibe Lounge in Rockville Centre Friday night. They pulled in a crowd of a variety of ages.

The band is made up of Eric Goldberg and Evan Campbell, both vocalists, guitarists, and bassists, Reed Adler, guitarist and bassist, Skylar Adler, drummer and recording engineer, and Dan Goldberg, guitarist. The guys rotate instruments depending on which song they play. The band was founded in 2009, but they have been sharing and writing music with each other for years. Growing up in the same neighborhood, the five of them were friends by the time they were six and seven years old.

The Nico Blues played six of their songs Friday night, opening with “Mugshot In Princeton,” which is on their upcoming EP, followed by “Living Proof,” which the band considers to be their most successful song. The video for “Living Proof” was picked up by MTVU. The audience rocked their bodies and tossed their heads to the intense harmony, wearing stickers on their clothing the band handed out before the show.

Influenced by rock, folk, and punk bands, The Nico Blues are inspired by every band in the book, “Our Band Could Be Your Life” by Michael Azzerad. What keeps the band going strong is their dedication to their supportive fans.

“We don’t really think twice about spending all of our time, money and resources on being a band,” said guitarist and bassist, Reed Adler. “It’s just what we do and what we really enjoy.” - SpotOnLI

"Something Borrowed, Something Blues"

NYC’s The Nico Blues may enjoy theblues, but they are in no way an obvious blues band, nor are any of their members named Nico. The quintet’s latest record, “Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basement,” commences with hard hitting percussion, crunching guitars, and vocals that trade-off between melodious and roaring on “Three’s a Crowd.” The record carries on with highlights, an appropriate titled, twangy “Folk Song #2,” which indeed has folksy undertones, psychedelic and seductive “Living Proof” and “Story With a Purpose,” dark and dancy “Unprofessional,” and fast-paced alt-rock closer, “Adjust Accordingly.” The Nico Blues gather up their roots in rock, folk, blues, and punk to formulate widely appealing hooks.
How did you all meet and form The Nico Blues?
Eric, Evan, and Reed met in the 2nd grade. Skylar and Danny (being the younger brothers) were born into friendship. Since we all discovered music together, we've all been playing in bands with each other since 2002. The Nico Blues started after we disbanded our band after college, and decided to reunite with Evan, who had been playing with another band. This all went down in May 2009, and we've been more dedicated to these songs and this line-up than any other. Ev and Eric decided a year before that if they were ever going to start a band together, it'd be called The Nico Blues and when the time came we decided not to tempt fate.

What or who is Nico?
Nico Blue is the name of Shannon Hoon's daughter. He's the late singer from Blind Melon, who became one of our favorite groups when we were younger. We were completely unaware that this would ever get back to her, but it actually did. Christopher, the guitarist of Blind Melon, heard about us and we've been talking back and forth recently. He let her know that we "borrowed" her name. Hope she doesn't mind.

With which current artists would you most like to tour?
A band that we just heard the other day called Jeff the Brotherhood seem like a great fit and make some awesome music. Also, Screaming Females are a cool band and fellow New Jerseyians. We'd also like to play with White Denim, Yuck, Surfer Blood, Black Keys, Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, Real Estate, Eternal Summers...really any number of awesome bands out right now. If any of those groups ever needed a tour partner, we'd pack our bags tonight.

What message do you want fans to take away from your current album, “Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements?”
When we made the album in our basement, we were making it for ourselves. Not in a selfish way, just in a no-one-else-is-listening way. However, once people started listening, we saw them forming a relationship with our band and our music. I think the honesty is what people are taking away. And the honest truth is that we are just some dudes with guitars who want to play music. Instead of trying to get too lofty.
Also, we've been hanging out&nbspin Reed's basement, where we recorded the album, for years and it&nbspseemed like the perfect name. In a lot of ways, it perfectly describes where we were as a band as well as&nbspwhere we&nbspand&nbspa lot of our friends were in our personal lives. Basements are where great times happen but those great times can also eventually lead to some dark times. Really, the record is about the highs and lows involved in being young.

What is your funniest/favorite tour story?
We played a show at this Connecticut bar called B&ampG Lounge on our first tour in July 2009. The sound guy Mark, who booked us, was pretty much the same as Tommy Chong and we smoked a blunt with him before we went on. We played for a bunch of locals including a deaf guy who loved us and gave Skylar (our drummer) a drumstick in a very&nbspceremonial&nbspway. There was also a guy who claimed he was previously told he could never walk again, recovered from his accident,&nbspand said that he now had crazy legs. That same guy was dancing with a girl while we were playing an old song called "Holiday Song" and at the&nbsppinnacle of the song, the two started making out. There was also a guy who gave&nbspus a lot of marijuana for a CD. The song that got us the biggest applause was this joke blues song we used to do called "I Got the Nico Blues" which is basically a redneck song about drinking. We always played it as a joke but the bar patrons loved it. I always considered it our own "Hootenany", that song by The Replacements.

What musical path do you see the band taking on the next record?
The next record is going to be more "us" just in that we've continued to&nbspcultivate our own sound. The songs are head-to-tails better written and we have a better idea of what we're going for as a band. It will certainly still have distorted guitars and all of that good stuff. We're looking for it to sound more like we're playing in a room, just make it more of a personal, natural&nbspsounding record. The album will certainly be along the lines of psychedelic garage rock. We plan on releasing an album&nbspas well&nbspas an&nbspEP of songs that didn't make the album. - The Deli (NYC)

"The Nico Blues - "Folk Song Number 2""

A sparkly silver $100 Brownsville guitar is the star of the Nico Blues new music video, "Folk Song Number Two." The guitar lays still on the lower right corner of the screen throughout most of the video. It's guitarist Reed's first guitar, but it's shared by all the members in the video. In addition to being played, it's also used as a skateboard and a surf board. The way the guitar is portrayed in the video shows how much of a love the band has for it, but I think there's a deeper meaning behind it. And the closing lines say it all: And I will not dispute/ Just long as I'm following you. And follow they guitar they do. Or is it following them?

The other aspect of the video appropriately shows parts of New Jersey and New York City where the band has played live, which highlights where the band members are from. The footage is collected from live performances shot at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ, Legion in Brooklyn, Zen Studios in Wayne, NJ, and Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ in March and April of this year.

Musically the band delivers a folk song with a '90 and indie rock (as in D.I.Y. style) feel. The song itself was recorded in a basement in Wayne and pays tribute to where the band has played and where they started. The song is from their album, Blame The Boredom, Blame the Basements. Enjoy. - Starbeat Music

"NYC Artists on The Rise: The Nico Blues"

The Nico Blues is a NJ/NYC based rock band that sound a little bit as if Oasis (and at times Blur) were born in Seattle in the mid 90s instead of the UK - which is a way to say that they write good pop songs with great harmonies and then drench them in grungy distorted guitars. The band has just released this video and will be performing at Arlene's Grocery on May 3 and at Party Expo on May 5. - The Deli (NYC)

"WSPC Radio: Artist Spotlight"

The Nico Blues is a band that has come through for us not once, but twice for our WSPC Presents... showcase. They were featured on The Dive and was named one of the The Aquarian's "No Label Needed: Round-Up Of Some Of The Area's Top Unsigned Acts" in 2011. Their music video for the always catchy "Living Proof" is quite epic and let's face it, even though they don't have a record label, they kick an immense amount of butt. - WSPC

"Band(camp) of The Week"

These Jersey guys first came to my attention when they told The Aquarian Weekly that they were named after Shannon Hoon’s daughter. While I was expecting to hear a Blind Melon tribute band, I was pleasantly surprised to find a mixed bag of indie rock sounds on The Nico Blues “Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements” and if there’s a Blind Melon influence in the music, I can’t easily detect it.

Then again, I’m not sure I agree with the bands that The Nico Blues have been compared to: Fugazi,Pavement, The Grateful Dead and the Smashing Pumpkins. The Nico Blues don’t sound like a punk band, a hippie/jam band, or an egotistical arena-rock band. They also don’t sound like The Blood Brothers although they are times that the vocals share some similarity between the two bands. Whatever it is they sound like, I’m digging it.

Recommended for fans of: The Blood Brothers, Modest Mouse, Pavement, Free Diamonds, Toys That Kill - Atomic Ned

"The Nico Blues Release New Video for "Living Proof""

Local band The Nico Blues have taken the viral approach to building a fan base and have been giving away some high-quality music for free over last two years. The band has a demo, their 2009 EP and their current disc, Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements, posted as free downloads on their website (Nico Blues).

I've had the band's EP on my iPod for the last few months and it has consistently gotten a number of plays. The band has an overall layered psychedelic sound which they send into high-gear on some tracks by bringing in elements of garage rock. The Nico Blues complements their music with dead-on (often echo drenched) harmony vocals and the end result is something better than most of the CDs in Best Buy's "New Releases" rack.

The band has just released a new video for "Living Proof" (from Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements).
- Brooklyn Rocks

"Local Noise: The Nico Blues"

Local Noise: The Nico Blues
—by Hal B. Selzer, December 22, 2010

The Nico Blues aren’t a blues band, and there‘s no one named Nico in the group. What they are, however, is a very unique, fast-rising band that aims to make The Nico Blues a household name.

“The band name comes from the lead singer of Blind Melon,“ explained Eric Goldberg, who sings, plays guitar and bass in the group.

“The band released only two albums before he died, the second of which is an album called Soup, which is incredible and completely underrated by every music critic ever. Anyway, his name was Shannon Hoon, and his favorite type of flower was a Nikko Blue. He named his daughter Nico Blue Hoon, and because he is from a great, underrated band, we decided to name ourselves The Nico Blues. Blind Melon had a profound effect on our musical pallet in high school, and because of his tragic death we decided to pay tribute to him in the form of our name. He had a very simple way of saying complex things.”

Eric is joined in the band by Evan Campbell; who also sings and plays guitar bass, Reed Adler; who plays guitar, Skylar Adler; who plays drums and doubles as the recording engineer, and Danny Goldberg; who plays guitar. And yes, as the similar surnames indicate, they truly are a band of brothers.

“It’s probably more helpful playing with two sets of brothers simply because we already hate each other, so it’s harder to break up,” Eric laughed. “We’re all brothers though, related or not.”

It’s hard to pin down the band musically, with songs that encapsulate a number of different styles.

“We’d describe our music simply as alternative rock,” Eric related. “Jokingly we’ll refer to it as ‘post-alternacore folk funk.’ We’re influenced by rock music from the 1950s to 2010, and we’ve been compared to bands as diverse as Fugazi, Pavement, the Grateful Dead and the Smashing Pumpkins. We consider ourselves rock connoisseurs.”

Indeed, they seem to have influences that vary widely as far as musical styles.

“We’re inspired by rock music from all decades,” he added. “Our biggest influences are Pavement, Grateful Dead, Early ‘90s Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Husker Du and Girls.”

That diversity has led to a CD that contains something for everyone.

“Honestly, our repertoire of songs is pretty diverse and as a result everyone has a different favorite,” Eric said. “Literally, each song on the new album has been named by at least one person as their favorite. That’s exactly what we want. I’d say personally my favorites are ‘Three’s A Crowd,’ ‘Adjust Accordingly’ and ‘Living Proof,’ but I like all of them.”

The way the songs come to fruition is also a varied process.

“It really depends,” Eric continued. “Either I bring a song, Ev brings a song, or we all jam it out as a band. If me or Ev bring a song to the band, everyone adds their own parts and helps develop it. Me and Evan write the lyrics. Usually I sing the songs I write, and Ev sings the songs he writes. We try to outdo ourselves with each new song and never write the same song twice. Some bands write one song over and over again for, like, three decades. We try to do the exact opposite of that.”

The album, like the band, also has a story concerning its unusual name.

“The name of the CD, Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements, is a line from the band Lifter Puller,” Eric explained. “Lifter Puller was the first band from Hold Steady’s Craig Finn and Tad Kubler. We love those guys and the name fits the record perfectly. A basement is where we record and practice our music. Our entire musical lives and most of our social lives revolve around basements, so it’s the perfect name for the album.”

Besides recording, and the various basement activities, The Nico Blues want to play live as much as possible.

“Absolutely, we’re on a perpetual tour,” Eric said. “We aim to play at least one show a week, and we’ll be playing all over New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia in the upcoming months. We’ll play wherever and for whomever we can. From basements to high class clubs, we’ve played them all!”

The bands plans for the future are both simple and lofty at the same time.

“Our goals are to take over the world,” laughed Eric. “Honestly, we want to be able to play all over the U.S. for people every night. That’s our professional goal and I definitely think that’s attainable. A lot of people have different definitions of what success and ‘making it’ is in the music industry. Ours is simply to play for people every night, have a label release our music, and making a decent living doing it.”

“Anything that may come after achieving that would be beyond our control. Musically, our goal is to keep pushing ourselves to recording the best music we can. One thing about us is that we’re never satisfied with where we are musically and because of that we’re constantly pushing ourselves to write better songs, record the songs in a more groundbreaking way and become better musicians. We’re not a band that’s going to find a niche or a sound and be comfortable with doing the same thing for the next 20 years.”

The group has played for packed houses and empty rooms, and they see that experience is all part of the journey.

“We once played for no one, but the sound guy liked us so much, he wanted us back the next night,” Eric recalled. “The next day we played on a sidewalk in Boston in front of Nuggets Record store. We were literally singing for sidewalks and playing for empty bars and that experience produced the song ‘Three’s A Crowd.’ That song is meant to be an anthem for any DIY, indie band, and it’s about playing your heart out no matter how many people you’re playing for.”

You can download The Nico Blues’ album for free at or at You can find out about upcoming appearances at

- The Aquarian

"Rath on Record: The Nico Blues"

‘Rath On Record #7

Artist: The Nico Blues
Genre: alterna-rock revival, short-attention-span-core
Homebase: Brooklyn and New Jersey
Players: Eric Goldberg — vocals, guitar, bass; Evan Campbell — vocals, guitar, bass; Reed Adler — lead guitar, bass; Skylar Adler – drums; Danny Goldberg — rhythm guitar

The Aquarian Weekly — the standard of rock journalism in the Garden State since 1969 — recently named The Nico Blues as one of the area’s top unsigned acts. Watching the band’s video for “Living Proof” — a single from their 2010 debut full-length album Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements — it’s easy to see why. This stylish, professional-grade clip is dripping with cool. The video itself is pure eye-candy, as it follows the young group in captivating slow-mo over one continuous shot, as they suit up for practice in a wood-paneled basement before the taking some unexpected turns. (No spoilers! Just watch below.) But it’s the music, of course, that pulls it all together. And “Living Proof” is a dreamy, down-tempo delight that delivers the goods with crunchy guitars, a deep groove and Eric Goldberg’s snarly vocals complete with some very tasty Pavement-esque “ooh ooh ooh’s” in the hook. All in all, it presents the band as a refreshing break from the norm, confident, fun and tuneful.

But if you think you have the band’s sound pegged after this video introduction, you are sorely mistaken. A full listen to Blame — a completely self-produced and self-released effort — reveals a band with many influences, exploring many directions, sometimes even within the same song. In this narrowcast world, bands tend to focus on a sub-sub-genre and own it outright. The Nico Blues, however, defiantly refuse to pigeonhole themselves.

Though they clearly have a penchant for the stomp-box alt-rock of the ’90s, they also incorporate elements of ’60s folk, punk-rock, and late-’80s college rock among others. The varied nature of their sound is also due in part to alternating lead vocalists Eric Goldberg and Evan Campbell. Campbell generally plays it straight, while Goldberg sounds slightly unhinged — in a nasally post-hardcore kinda way — and can deliver some very impressive screaming. And they harmonize, too. Meanwhile the rest of the band — Skylar Adler on drums, Reed Adler on lead guitar, and Danny Goldberg on rhythm — are so solid you would never believe they’re all around 20 years old.

Young as they are, perhaps the next few years will see them develop a more unified version of their sound. But then again, maybe they already have it right, and The Nico Blues are the perfect band for an wide audience with attention spans on the wane. Thankfully, you can decide for yourself by downloading the their new album for free courtesy of The Nico Blues at the website

‘Rath On Record had the opportunity to send the band a few questions in advance of their upcoming performance at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, N.J., this Saturday night, March 5. I got answers from Goldberg and Adler.

‘Rath On Record: How did the band react to being named one of the area’s “Top Unsigned Acts” by The Aquarian Weekly?

Eric Goldberg: Certainly it was a great honor. We’ve been playing in various bands around the area for years and we’ve been working so hard with this band for the past two years that it’s great to be recognized by a popular music publication like The Aquarian.

Reed Adler: We were like “Dude!” and then “Nahhhhh.” Then like, “Dude! It’s true!” … Sorry I just wanted to say something stupid after Eric’s smart answer.

ROR: How did you end up with such an amazing video for “Living Proof”? Who’s concept was it?

Eric: We always had a vague concept of making a slow motion music video to “Living Proof.” We just figured because of the slow tempo of that song, it would make the coolest video. Reed went to NYU film school so we know some really talented film people because of that. Our roommate Jacob LaMendola decided that he wanted to make us a video since he was a big fan and advocate of our band. In a lot of ways, he’s an extension of our band. Anyways, he worked hard and masterminded the whole thing along with Reed and some friends. Luckily, we have amazingly talented and hardworking friends.

Where the Wild Things Are: The Nico Blues form a "real pile"
Reed: The one-shot concept came about after Jacob and I were raving to each other about “The Sweater Song” video by Weezer (directed by Spike Jonze). In that video’s intro, you think the camera is right-side-up, but it’s actually upside down and the people are strapped to the ceiling. That slight of hand got us thinking. We decided we wanted to be outside the entire time, but have people think we’re in a basement. The way that wall disappears was literally six of our friends carrying a 16-foot wall out of the way. We shot it 20 times, and picked take 19.

ROR: What are your plans and goals as a band for 2011? New record? More touring? Looking to take this full-time?

Eric: We’ve been trying to play music full-time since we were young teenagers. This summer we plan on recording a new EP for a late fall release and we’ll also probably record another EP in the fall for a winter/spring release. We’re working on a lot of new songs, and we figure the best way for us to release them is through a couple of EPs. In the meantime, we’ll be touring as much as possible and just constantly working to get more fans. Hopefully, we’ll be able to turn it in to a full time gig soon.

Reed: The goal is to be full-time musicians. I think this year is all about our following. It’s been building pretty rapidly, but this year we hope to reach out to even more fans. How do we do that? More music. More shows. More promotion. Stepping everything up.

Nico Blues at Glasslands in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Photo: Myles Sandrian
ROR: Generally speaking, the greatest bands in music history are identified with a particular sound. The Nico Blues, however, are so varied in aesthetic, such identification is impossible. Are you still developing your “sound,” or are you wholly committed to an ever-changing approach?

Eric: We’re all about not writing the same song twice. The band is constantly in a state of evolution as we continue to take in more music and grow as people. We’ll certainly always have an alternative rock base, but luckily that’s a pretty broad spectrum of sounds. For us, it’s all about writing good songs. A band is only as good as it’s songs.

Reed: In the age of the LP, I think it felt important to label your band and create one genre, in order to sell yourself. Now-a-days, I think music fans are subject to such an influx of music that they are just that … MUSIC fans. Not “nu metal fans” or “emo fans.” I like to think that people who like rock music will appreciate the fact that we are sticking our hands in a few different cookie jars. Right now, we are inspired a million different ways. We just want to create what feels right at that time.

ROR: What inspired your unique approach to The Nico Blues? How does the creative process work among the five of you?

Eric: It depends. We’ll write songs as a band or either Ev or I will bring a song to the band. Usually, everyone adds their parts and helps craft the song in to a band song. Writing a song is an art but making it in to a full-band song is certainly another art.

Reed: We just put the pieces together. Sometimes it works instantly, sometimes it takes months.We just know when a concept or song is worth fighting for.

ROR: If you could put together a dream bill with any bands, living or dead, who would you choose and where would The Nico Blues fit into it?

Eric: A dream bill for dead bands would be us opening for Nirvana, Pavement and Husker Du probably. Alive bands or reunited bands would probably be Dinosaur Jr., The Pixies or Modest Mouse. We’re huge fans of a lot of bands, so it’s hard to choose.

They're the Kids in America: A whole lot of brothers going on in The Nico Blues
Reed: I’d include all of those bands, plus Minutemen. They’re a perfect example of a band who played from their heart. You don’t hear “genre” when you hear those guys. The only reason its remotely “punk” is because it’s raw and honest. We would definitely open for these bands. I’d be happy enough to just share the stage … not trying to headline and prove anything.

ROR: Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements was a self-produced affair. Would you ever consider working with a producer in the future? Or would you worry he or she would try to push you too far in one direction?

Eric: We’d absolutely like to work with a producer in the future just to attain an outside perspective. However, as avid rock fans and musicians who have already recorded ourselves a number of times, we definitely know what we’re looking for production-wise, so it’d be hard for a producer to try and make us in to something we’re not.

Reed: I think there’s a part of us that will always be producing, no matter who is in the studio with us. An outside ear is a great perspective, but I don’t see us getting pushed around because we’ve all had too much experience getting the sounds we want to get. It’d be great to have someone who shared the same vision though. Our own George Martin.

ROR: I noticed two Goldbergs and two Adlers in the band’s lineup. Are their really two sets of brothers in the band? Does that get intense at times? Have punches been thrown?

Eric: Yes, there are two sets of brothers. We’ve all known each other since we were little kids. Luckily, we already all hate each other so it’s harder to break up.

Reed: Eric and Danny have thrown punches in our old band. Skylar and I prefer to bitch gently at each other. Evan is like a brother though, we’ve known him since we were 7. Our chemistry is a unique blend of undying love and utter hatred for each other. It’s what keeps us going.

ROR: What can fans old and new expect from you on stage at Maxwell’s this Saturday night?

Eric: They can expect a great show and some brand new songs mixed in with some favorites off of Blame The Boredom
- Jason Kundrath at

"Nico Blues Headline Maxwell's"

And finally, The Nico Blues. The bluesy alternative band spent some time during the day promoting throughout Hoboken in a very interesting and unique way. Evan Campbell, who plays guitar and sings, was dressed up as Greenman, the faceless, full-body green suit-wearing ‘character’ from TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and walked around the streets of Hoboken carrying a sign that had information for the show on it.

That night was special for the band; they were starting to film a music video for their song, “Folk Song #2” and they also played some fresh songs. Some songs from their set included: “Three’s a Crowd,” “Unprofessional,” “Sinking Or Standing,” “Adjust Accordingly” and “Living Proof,” which the band has already released a music video for. They showed the versatility of the members when guitarist Reed Adler switched instruments with bassist Eric Goldberg. The Nico Blues’ album Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements is available for free download on their website,

—by Roz Smith, March 16, 2011

- The Aquarian

"#2 on 20 Bands to Conquer 2011"

I'd say The Nico Blues took every great record from 1985-2005 and somehow mashed them together to create a surprisingly original and ear pleasing debut LP. This Wayne quintet is heavily influenced by 90's rock (Blind Melon, Smashing Pumpkins), yet also include hints of 80's punk, 90's post-hardcore and some of the folk-rock that came after, in their music. Like Camden, their debut effort shows that they actually challenged themselves by delving into new territories both musically and lyrically. Picking just one song to properly represent the band has been frustrating to say the least. I suggest you just listen to all of Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements, which is available on a name your own price basis. Be sure to pick it up here. -

"How to Market Your Band with The Nico Blues"

Indie Band Guru wanted to introduce you to another hard-working band that has their shit together and seems just about ready to take off. We recently had the chance to speak with NY/NJ alternative rock band The Nico Blues about promoting themselves, gaining a fanbase, and their take on the independent music scene today.

Hit Play!

Here are their words that they wanted to share with the Indie band Guru readers:

-Basically, The Nico Blues strategy right now is to play as many shows as we can and sell our CD’s for $5 each at shows to get it in the hands of as many people as we can. However, unlike most bands we have our music up on our website for free download. As a relatively unknown indie band, this is the best way to gain fans. Get your music on their IPods and computers. The music can also be streamed so the only people downloading it are people that geniunely dig the music. Sometimes we’ll play two shows in a day. One time this summer the band played in Philly on Friday night, Queens Saturday afternoon, and Baltimore Saturday night. The reasoning for this is that for the most part we’re not playing any amazing places. Aside from shows in NYC and North Jersey, we’re usually playing dive bars or relatively dilapidated places. However, the more shows a band plays, the greater the chance of some of those shows being good. The truth is that we’ve played some amazing shows for crazy kids in dive bars, while in other dive bars we’ve played for practically no one besides the sound guy. Actually, the first song on our album “Three’s A Crowd” is about playing your heart out no matter how few people are there to see you. Any band that wasn’t born in to having some sort of connection in the music industry can certainly relate.

Bands also need to utilize social networks like Facebook and Twitter. We’ve actually gained a lot of fans from both and its a perfect way to stay in touch and relate to your fanbase. Showing that you care about them as much as they care about you will only benefit the band. Also, emailing music blogs and hoping that the people behind the blog like the music is a great way to get exposure. A lot won’t answer, some will say it’s not their thing, but, if you’re good, there will be some blogs that will promote the band. Music blogs have a HUGE impact on up-and-coming artists and 9 out of 10 times, they’re the ones who know about a great band first.

Finally and perhaps most important, up-and-coming bands need to be nice to everyone they meet, for the most part. You can’t be a primadonna jerkoff and expect people to like you. If you’re nice to people and other bands, then they’ll ask you to be a part of their shows. It really goes a long way in booking yourself. Punk rock is freedom and you don’t have to play “punk rock” to share in its ideals. However, all DIY indie bands need to share in its idealism. In my humble opinion, anyone looking to start a band should read the book “Our Band Could Be Your Life” by Michael Azerrad. He’s a great writer and it is one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read. Not to mention, every band mentioned in that book is amazing.

-The Nico Blues are an alternative rock band from New York/New Jersey. The band has just released their debut album on their own Tiny Giant Records imprint titled “Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements”. This album was recorded, produced, and mixed by the band in their home studio. The Nico Blues are influenced by rock, folk, and punk bands from the 1950’s to 2010. All of their music can be downloaded free at their website
- Indie Band Guru

"The Nico Blues new full-length available for free download"

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The Nico Blues new full-length available for free download
Friday, August 13, 2010 at 3:32AM

The Nico Blues just put out a great record titled Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements. That's not all though! The Wayne/NYC based group have decide to give away the entire full-length for free! You can download it over at their bandcamp. The indie-folk-rock quartet also have a bunch of local dates upcoming up. These dates include a show at Hoboken's Maxwell's this Saturday 8/14 and a Meat Locker show 8/26. You can check out all of The Nico Blues announced dates here. Check out (and download if you like) one of the best tracks off the record titled "Three's a Crowd" below.
- The NJ Underground

"The Nico Blues EP Review"

Website: The Nico Blues

Home Base: Wayne, NJ/NYC

Genre: Alternative Rock/Indie Rock

Record Label: Tiny Giant Records

Band Members: Eric Goldberg – Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Evan Campbell – Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Reed Adler – Lead Guitar, Bass
Danny Goldberg – Rhythm Guitar
Skylar Adler – Drums, Recording Engineer

Influenced By: Fugazi, Minutemen, Modest Mouse, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr, John Frusciante, Nirvana, Husker Du, Dr. Dog Modest Mouse, The White Stripes, The Hold Steady, Dr. Dog, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Built to Spill, Pink Floyd

Sounds Like: Post-alternacore folkfunk(I think I might disagree with the folkfunk part! Editor)

Bio. The Nico Blues is an alternative rock band from New Jersey.

Their debut EP was recorded, produced, and mixed by the band in a studio they built from scratch. The band will be releasing their new album in June 2010 titled “Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements”. This album will also be recorded, produced, and mixed by the band in their home studio.
The Nico Blues are influenced by rock, folk, and punk bands from the 1950’s to 2010. The band has been compared to everyone from Pavement to the Grateful Dead.

My Review: As you can see I don’t have a whole lot of info on this band, but that’s O.K. Like a lot of artists its sometimes hard to pin them down to one specific genre. Indeed, the MP3 tags on their tracks lists the genre simply as other. As you can see from their Bio. They, themselves list several different genre. Indie Music Band Wagon refers to them as post-hardcore. I think if I had to put The Nico Blues in a “box” one corner would be post-hardcore, one experimental rock, the third alternacore or post-alternacore and the last would be rock. This EP seems to touch on all four to some extent. Now if they had a genre called “Great Music”, that would be the right one!

You start out with “An Hour in a Half” which with its almost jazz/blues drumming and somewhat etherial keyboard and guitar playing and vocals I’d have to place it in the experimental or avant-garde category, “I’m not crazy, just insane” and the music sure fits those lyrics! “Siren”, to me is good, hard driving rock. “Elsie’s Hooked on Second Chances” is a short, hard driving piece with almost a Native American or Oriental sounding opening and which may well qualify as hardcore punk. I found this song to be very interesting. “Seven Noble Sins” with its well placed screams I would have to call post-hardcore. “I sailed the seven noble sins and feel humble” the lyrics say. For some reason I like that passage. Next up is “Holiday Song”, here you get something along the lines of alternative rock yet still pleasing and blending in with the other songs perfectly. Lastly we come to “Black Window”. This is probably my personal favorite! It starts out with a somewhat familiar melody which I can not recall where I’ve heard it before. About ¾ of the way through it explodes with some good screams and “I guess it shows right through”!

All in all, I enjoyed all the songs on this EP. They show a variety of styles, they change pace enough to hold the listeners attention, you’re sort of wondering “what comes next” and they are full of “hooks” to keep them rolling through your mind after the music stops. If I had to compare The Nico Blues to anyone I’d say close to The Grateful Dead with a touch of Pink Floyd! I’m going to rate them a 10 and a “thumbs up”! Now for the part everyone is going to like! In preparation for the release of their full album, “Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements”, scheduled for this month(June, 2010), if you visit The Nico Blues You can download this 6 track EP and cover art for FREE! That’s right FREE! So, there you have it, good, free music compliments of The Nico Blues What more could you ask for?
- Gulf Coast Music

"The Nico Blues EP Review"

Picture yourself in the year 2002. The Vines release their debut album ‘Highly Evolved’. It’s just been a week but the press is in a state of frenzy and The Vines are already being touted as the saviours of rock and roll! They are crowned and given names like the ‘The Australian Strokes’. They join the list of the ‘The’ bands to watch out for – The Strokes, The White Stripes, etc.etc. Their grungy, quick and hard hitting songs are a hit amongst the masses and unless one is living under a rock one cannot miss the hype surrounding this band. So why am I talking about The Vines? Well, on the same page and similar in style as The Vines, another band called The Nico Blues, has crept out of the shadows and has come out with some new walloping material , but unfortunately, there isn’t any hype around these guys. No big deal though; everyone knows hype’s a bitch; it kills faster than it glorifies you, till you are left empty handed. Well, in that respect the 5-piece which consists of Eric Goldberg (vocals, guitar, bass), Evan Campbell (vocals, guitar, bass) Reed Adler (lead guitarist, bass), Skylar Adler (drums, and sound engineer) and Danny Goldberg (rhythm guitar) have quietly worked their way through to get the attention of listeners. Before releasing this EP they released an album ‘Tall Tales of Tiny Giants’ under the soubriquet ‘Moment Of Zen’ and in support of the LP they did a tour of 15 shows on the East Coast.
The Nico Blues have everything a debuting band should be. The band has got the flair, the vocal harmony, the hooks, the charged up screams, good songwriting, the intensity of post-hardcore and everything else that demands the listener’s attention. The band has got a strong chemistry which could be attributed to the fact that the band members have been friends for over 18 years. Though the band has ‘influences’, it does not explicitly display them, but uses their mature musicianship/craftsmanship to create their own sound, The Nico Blues sound! When one listens to the band, one can’t pin down a particular sound, but has to describe it in the form of the so called influences that can only give hints of their sound. The band it seems has learned from the mistakes committed by The Vines who did have a dynamic debut, but they lost out over a period of time because of the repetitive nature of their sound on the later albums. The band’s sound is a savoury cocktail of different genres but bears a close resemblance to the sound of The Vines. The vocalist though lacks the wails of Craig Nicholls, has a similar sounding voice. Also, the grungy sound of The Vines has been hacked and a cleaner sound has been adopted. One can say that they are moving towards the poppy sound of bands like The Replacements, Pavement and Galaxie 500 but embracing the aesthetic of post-hardcore bands like Fugazi and Jawbox.
Now, that one is sure that the band has lot of tricks up their sleeve; this album becomes an interesting listen. The impactful album opener ‘An Hour In A Half’, with its spacious start, slowly builds a psychedelic ambiance with whirling guitars and melodic guitar lines and amazing melancholic vocals that ends in a series of screams, in the process referencing the Sgt. Pepper era Beatles, ‘The Storm In Heaven’ psychedelic era of The Verve and The Vines song ‘Autumn Shade’. The song is in correspondence with the theme of the track that deals with isolation, drudgery and boredom and the insanity that ensues because of these emotions. The excitement shown in the screams is followed up with ‘Sirens’, a garage revival track, which displays the raw prowess of the band, its catchiness still intact. It sounds like The Strokes and The Vines are vying for space on this track. The band at this time, it seems, is on a dream run. They cut through the length of the songs and with punk immediacy create the less than 2 minute track ‘Elsie’s Hooked On Second Chances’, with blazing guitars that set the mood for being a perfect summer anthem, though the underlying theme is heartbreak from a one sided relationship. The track is reminiscent of the famous Pavement track ‘Cut Your Hair’, with a similar post punk bassline and a memorable guitar hook. ‘Seven Noble Sins’ sees an even more energetic side of the band with their boisterous performance ,shrieking guitars and blistering vocals that question the unwarranted beliefs of people, while still feeling humble! This track is reminiscent of The Vines track ‘Set Free’ but this one has more stings and contagious energy that would leave you punch drunk. The second last track enters romantic territory with the vocalist driving home the point by declaring ‘I want to hold on, and keep you through the night’. An obvious reference of this song comes in the form of the slowcore band Galaxie 500, which with its dreamy imagery and fallible vocals, creates an endearing story. Saving the best for the last, the track ‘Black Window’ is their most experimental effort yet. While the track begins with some Modest Mouse like vocals played to a garage rock sound, the track slows down into an introspective coda that has the surprise element of screams as breaks, kind of creating a contrast to the almost ambient sound of the coda but accentuating the overall sound of the track. It’s like pounding your head against the wall when things get really messed up in life (but that isn’t what the track is preaching!).
The record may look pretty straightforward judging by the manner in which the description has been given here. But, there is a lot of activity going on in each of these tracks – the subtle changes, the effortless transition from high to low tempos and vice versa, the perfect combination of captivating songwriting and complementary ambiance, creation of genre hopping tracks. All of these activities together with their panache of creating melodies that pack a punch and the corresponding tight performance of this 5-piece make this a stellar effort. Moreover this EP is available for a free download, so one can’t possibly miss a chance to own this and enjoy the treat the band has given to its listeners!
- Indie Bandwagon - Vikrant Dev

"The Nico Blues - Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements"

It’s there in the fuzzed up riff of album opener, Three’s A Crowd. It’s definitely there in the searing vocals of singer Eric Goldberg and his counterpart Evan Campbell. It’s there, too, in the reverb soaked anthemic final cut, Adjust Accordingly.

In fact, the whole of new album from The Nico Blues is run through with it: alternative rock pedigree.

These five from North Jersey may be based on the east coast, but their sound is likely to take you straight back to the west coast at the height of the alternative explosion. At one point during Unprofessional, I could have sworn that I was listening to The Pixies had they spent more time channeling the ghost of Alex Chilton. Folk Song #2 had me contemplating a holy alliance between the lyrical dexterity of Stephen Malkmus and the melodic chops of Teenage Fanclub.

But let’s not get too carried away and give the impression that we think Blame The Boredom… is some sort of pastiche; a one-dimensional throwback with a surfeit of style over substance. Let’s be plain: you can’t write songs this good if you don’t care wholeheartedly about your craft.

The minor chord progression of Exit 6, with it’s finger-picked filigree, care-worn vocal and tale of a woman that made a lasting impression is a delight. If anything, it’s a shame that it’s over in just two short minutes. But somehow it’s all the more memorable as a result. Fleeting, but oh so perfectly formed.

Skylar Adler’s booming drum pattern that kicks off Story With a Purpose builds into a mid-pace groove with an impassioned vocal and gutteral guitar thrum that will have you wanting to lope around the room, arms aloft, losing yourself in the music. That is, of course, just before the punky thrash of Don’t Forget to Breathe drags you kicking and screaming back to the now to work yourself up into a sweaty, pogoing frenzy.

And then, oh. The afforementioned Adjust Accordingly. It’s special. The kind of beautifully melodic fuzz-box guitar that reminds you of blissful summers as a teenager, saving your hard earned bucks to buy the latest Smashing Pumpkins album at your local record store. The vocal harmonies fill your heart. And then just when you think you can’t take any more comes the harmonic, chiming, impassioned howl of a guitar solo. If you don’t want to cry tears of joy at this point, then your soul is – I’m afraid to say – beyond saving. The whole track is over in three minutes. But it feels epic.

A melodic, memorable, triumph, I’ll blame the boredom and the basements until the cows come home as long as The Nico Blues make music this good.
- Skin Back Alley


"Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements" - July 2010

"The Nico Blues EP" - July 2009



The Nico Blues are a last wave rock band from New Jersey. We released our new EP “Die Happy” on February 28th, 2012. It features six new songs that we recorded and mixed by ourselves in our collective basement/practice space/love palace. The EP is available at our bandcamp as a pay-what-you-want, digital-only release. A second six-song EP is already in the works and set for a late 2012/early 2013 release.

Our first full-length album titled “Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements” was released on our own Tiny Giant Records imprint in January 2011. The album was recorded, produced, and mixed by us in our basement/recording studio/practice space. To date, “Blame the Boredom…” has sold over two thousand copies solely through our own efforts. Because of its success, it was recently reissued by local label Killing Horse Records. In true DIY spirit, we book all of our own shows and organize bands in our community through the Tiny Giant Artist Collective, which we founded. As a result, we have gained a devoted regional following.

The roots of the band go back a long way. The Nico Blues contains two sets of brothers and the members have all been friends since grade school. We formed in June 2009 when we left our old bands in pursuit of a long-term project.

Our two music videos have been highly acclaimed and “Living Proof” was featured in rotation on MTVu in April and May of 2011. “Folk Song Number Two” won the Hoboken Music award for Best Music Video 2011, and it was exclusively premiered by NYC magazine The Deli. We have played over 200 shows all along the East Coast. Notable venues we've performed at include Hiro Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, Glasslands, Maxwell’s, Piano's, Death By Audio and Asbury Lanes.