Top o’ the Pops and eerie in its raved-up ’60s perfection
Jumping out of the speakers like a lost Yardbird, Nic Armstrong brings the fuzz and bubblegum in spades on this poised retro-minded debut. It’s ironic that—in the midst of the current “British Invasion” (which is more about The Clash than The Hollies)—the classicist out to remind us of the first tide ends up being a 25-year-old from Newcastle whose girlfriend sent in his demo on the sly. Armstrong doesn’t pull off much that The Kinks or Herman’s Hermits didn’t do first, but the songwriting is so strong the Lieber and Stoller cover doesn’t sound the least bit out of place. A welcome castaway from four decades past.