After scoring the hit "Popular" off its successful 1996 debut record, HIGH/LOW, Nada Surf ran into the hardest of brick walls. While THE PROXIMITY EFFECT built on the fiery, jagged indie power pop of its predecessor, life after a novelty hit can be rough. Their major label, unsure how to market the record, decided not to release it, but also refused to relinquish the masters to the band. After years of dispute, the band could easily have retreated into cynicism and depression, and rumor has it that they did, to a degree. However, they also persevered, and ultimately bought the rights back and self-released the album.
It's a good thing they did, as THE PROXIMITY EFFECT is a delectable slice of indie rock. Opening track and single "Hyperspace" boasts the perfect singalong hook and the fevered guitar rock that dominated the first record. However, tracks like "Amateur" and "The Voices" uncover a band lost in thought, reflective, but ultimately upbeat. While the record was overlooked by most of radio and the public, it did catch the ear of college radio and then Barsuk Records, sowing the seeds of the band's unlikely revival.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock and Pop