Nice On Ice

The formation of Nice On Ice can be paralleled to the mixing of a good whiskey on the rocks: the angst-driven sound of co-founder Kenrick Phan’s past musical projects infused with the delicate and stimulating subtleties of co-founder KJ Relth’s percussion, giving you a warm and cozy sound that still retains a punch of fresh air.

Phan had been playing in bands since high-school and upon arriving at UCSB in 2002, he had no intention of quitting. After unsuccessful attempts at harnessing the neo-dance-punk genre with Isla Vista bands Jacknife Juggernaut and The Young Turks, Phan decided to step out behind the drum kit and rhythm guitar to pursue a more personal vision. Thus Nice : On Ice was born. High school friend KJ Relth stepped into the spotlight when Phan asked her to squeeze into his tiny Isla Vista storage space to jam out some love songs.

Recording out of a desk microphone in Phan’s bedroom apartment (you can actually hear the lawnmowers in the background), a seven-song demo was put together and given away at local gigs. If it wasn’t for Relth’s affinity for good wine, NOI’s humble beginnings might not have gone further than small fireside shows and backyard gigs. Relth introduced her vineyard co-worker (Corporate Nightmare Records partner Mike Echternacht) to Phan and a good friendship was formed.

When Echternacht booked NOI to open for CNR artist Kinothek, sparks flew and NOI was invited to join the CNR family. The Rescue was recorded in a one month period at producer and labelmate Zach Madden’s studio. The Rescue sustains an overall adolescent charm with big and curious ideas. Phan’s apocalyptic obsessions translate into most of his songs dealing with themes of love and death, yet his gloomy ideas are transformed into upbeat and happy tunes, giving the album an earnest sense of hope. Madden describes the album as a “headphone record” and believes it will plow the way for a “bedroom rock” genre.