Manchester Explosion

Nada Surf, "If I Had a Hi-Fi"

3.5

Perhaps since it has more than enough original material under its belt for the time being, New York rock act Nada Surf recorded a collection of covers for its latest release, "If I Had a Hi-Fi." The group's poppy guitars and thick, layered vocal harmonies occasionally improve upon some selections of the vastly diverse material, featuring reinterpretations from artists ranging from Kate Bush to Dwight Twilley. Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" is transformed from a moody new wave jam into a cheerfully dance-ready, guitar-heavy ditty, and Bush's "Love and Anger" has been chilled to become a tender ballad. Later, the Moody Blues' "Question" is reworked as a raucous, distortion-heavy headbanger. This fresh touch could've been applied to the Go-Betweens' "Love Goes On," which sounds too much like the original. But the low-key version of Spanish band Mercromina's "Evolucion" redeems the group. The simplicity of the cut's instrumentals is a welcome change for Nada Surf. --Erin Clendaniel