Glenn Gamboa writes about music for Newsday.
NGHBRS made such an impression on Taking Back Sunday at the Great South Bay Music Festival that TBS singer Adam Lazzara was joking backstage about removing the vowels from his band's name.
It's the kind of praise that means a lot to the up-and-coming Hicksville band, says singer-keyboardist Ian Kenny, who grew up as a fan. However, he's more excited about NGHBRS growing into its own.
"We've been around for four-and-a-half years," Kenny says. "We're finally finding ourselves."
The band unveiled its new single, "Small Talk," which it released on iTunes last week, a hard-hitting indie-rock stomper that shows how the band has been listening to a lot of White Stripes and Cage the Elephant as it works on its new EP. However, onstage "Small Talk" sounds a bit edgier with guitarist Thomas Fleischmann and bassist Eric Vivelo giving the song more angles, more like a Strokes song, as Jordan Schneider pounds away on the drums.
"It's got a New York urban vibe," Kenny explains. "We're more focused on that modern rock sound."
So far, there's no video for "Small Talk," though Kenny promises there will be a video for one of the songs from the upcoming EP due out in the fall. It will certainly be anticipated, considering the international attention the group's Instagram-styled "Hold Up Girl" video received when it was released.
Kenny says the band, which will unveil all its new songs at Bowery Ballroom later this month, isn't looking to match that song's viral success. "You can't really plan for that," he says. "We don't feel the pressure to do that again as much as we do to create something positive."
NGHBRS plays Bowery Ballroom on Aug. 22. Tickets are $12 through Ticketmaster.