Track Premiere: Nervous Dater — ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’

Posted: by The Editor


Last week, Brooklyn’s Nervous Dater premiered the excellent first single, “Bad Spanish,” from their upcoming full-length Don’t Be A Stranger. The track is a ripping display of pop-punk prowess that matches the urgency of Great Grandpa with the stickiness of Charly Bliss or Sorority Noise. However, the band leap all over the place on Don’t Be A Stranger, channeling the perforating punk of Jeff Rosenstock one moment and the anthemic emo of Oso Oso the next.

Today, we’re premiering the title track—a smart naming choice given that it encompasses much of the territory that Nervous Dater conquers throughout the whole record. Coming directly after the high-humidity of the previous two songs, the twinkly guitar intro of “Don’t Be A Stranger” shows that the band cleans up nicely, and aren’t completely reliant on bashing through every note they play. However, as the palm-muted power-pop riff emerges from the brief interception of American Football athleticism, it becomes apparent that Nervous Dater are at their best with their shirts untucked and their collars popped—even though they rock those sonic tuxes. The guitar lick remains a page pulled from the Count Your Lucky Stars playbook, but the rest of the band encases it with the propulsive flurry of Cayetana or SPORTS.

Eventually, it changes over into a raspy, Free Throw-esque breakdown that complements the line, “I’m happy that you’re happy but I’m sad we’ll never speak again.” It’s not the smoothest transition in the band’s current catalog, but they sprint to recovery and end the song with a reprise of its best moments. Nervous Dater aren’t perfect, and they sing a lot about imperfection on Don’t Be A Stranger. It’s their willingness to give almost anything a shot and be unabashedly vulnerable, though, that makes them so intriguing.

Stream “Don’t Be A Stranger” below:

Don’t Be A Stranger is out 9/29 via Counter Intuitive Records.

Eli Enis | @eli_enis