Zen Dozer Records – Spring 2014


Zen Dozer Records - Spring 2014

Fight Nice contributes two new tracks to Zen Dozer Records’ compilation album, Spring 2014, blending a college-radio sound with the concussive percussion and guitar of the best of early-90s alternative rock on Caught Near the End and Latest Report.

Recording for the Zen Dozer compilation

When asked to submit two songs to the latest Zen Dozer Records compilation album, we decided to record two new songs. We thought Latest Report would be an easy and catchy rocker, simple to record. And for the other we chose Caught Near The End, which has a complex arrangement that is beyond our live instrumentation, but could really come alive with some extra studio work. However, the work load we anticipated for each song was quite reversed.

We set up in the studio to record the two, focusing first on quality drums tracks with additional scratch parts. After finalizing and selecting the drum parts, we overdubbed the additional guitars, bass, and then vocals.

We started mixing Latest Report, and after several days and several mixes, we realized the parts we had recorded just could not capture the energy of playing it live. On the other hand, as we mixed and started adding vocal and guitar layers to Caught Near The End, it fell in place and quickly gelled into a great, balanced mix.

We scrapped everything we had for Latest Report (though the guitar solo happened to be stellar), and started over, this time in the rehearsal basement. Lugging all the extra mics and cords down there and using different equipment was a challenge, but the rehearsal energy we then captured was worth it. We added any overdubs the next night, then did vocals at a later studio session, trying some different takes. As we mixed, we added some additional background tracks, and ended up with an energetic, and rather unique and striking mix.

We think you’ll find some enjoyment listening to these two quite different tracks when the compilation is released.

Township, Aug 21

To my surprise Township is near an el-stop with bustling neighborhood activity, and street parking right outside the venue. It is nicely laid out, with a divided restaurant/bar and venue, plenty of room, and a nice warm paintjob with artwork on the walls. It seems primed to be a great venue, and indeed I’ve been seeing it’s name crop up more and more.

As usual, I tried to be late, but still felt early, and met some of the friendly people working the door and sound. Set up was a breeze, and we sat back to enjoy the vocal and acoustic stylings of Jason Douglas Swearingen. After his heartfelt set, we took the stage and hit our first song with a big stride. We kept it up for a bit, but faltered after some equipment failure. I managed to capture my zen back after a bit, but I could tell that our group mojo wasn’t going to come back fully.

One must remember that the audience wants to be on your side, wants you to lead their good time. So even if things are going badly for you onstage, you can still keep up your cheer and lean on all for support. That aspect is not too different from rehearsal, but it’s hard to keep in mind on-stage, especially because that’s when you want to be on your “A” game.

The headliner, The Frankl Project, were on tour from Cincinatti and rocked their set. Nailed it. They are a good bunch of guys doing great music, and we were glad to share the stage with them, so check them out if you get a chance.

Fight Nice (debut album)


Fight Nice (album cover)

Fight Nice, the band, is the three-piece project of Dean Dunakin, Brian Lerch, and Tim Wanish from Chicago. These avid devotees of music have opened up their recording work together with this assemblage of songs, and they offer you the headphones.

What constitutes an album these days? Fight Nice, the album, suggests that it’s twelve original tunes, arranged by the band, recorded and mixed for maximum sonic impact on your sound system, held together by a designated piece of cover art. Nobody seems to know for sure if music even needs to be applied to a physical medium at all, but Fight Nice, the album, will fit into your collection one way or another. For their first foray into the studio, the group cleans up and bolsters their sound. The songs are given more room to stretch out here, as compared to playing them in a minimalist way live on-stage while working them up.

Fight Nice plays raucously under-control late college or alternative rock music with melodic hooks, and a decisive rhythm section. There has to be a first for everything, and Fight Nice has a passion for writing, playing, and recording music that will be manifest again on future works. As for this initial batch of songcraft… Fight Nice, the band stacks up their best riffs and tunes, and forgets to pack the filler.

Don’t Make Me Show You – lyrics

When I can’t stand up
I wanna get down
On my knees and pray
That I don’t never go there again
No no never go
I said it

I get moody, I get moody, lord I get moody
Don’t make me show you

Driving on here
On the edge
Coming in faster
To a head
I’m never gonnna stop here again
No no never gonna
Forget it

I get moody, I get moody, lord I get moody
Don’t make me show you

The Reason – lyrics

I don’t wanna know what’s down there in your soul
Because you said you don’t believe in me no more.
I just got to go cuz I can’t stay in this role
And then you said you don’t believe in me no more.

And when you said you had a real good reason
I just don’t think that I care.
I’ve been trying to live a life with meaning
And you said it’s unfit to wear.

So there, is the reason. So there, is your reason.

Surrounded lyrics


We’ve gone through all the awkward phases
Slaved our way for meager wages
Made it through so many stages
Start ripping out those useless pages

We’ve had enough self-medication
Headache central reservation
It took all of your dedication
To stop this self-made situation

Why worry now
Why hurry now
You’re surrounded…

You’ve longed for all the latest crazes
Searched the crowd for friendly faces
Known it on a first-name basis
And lost yourself in all the mazes

Took a part in all the action
Tried to move up without traction
Feeling less than just a fraction
All just for the satisfaction?

Why worry now
Why hurry now
You’re surrounded…

When the clocks start circling
You hear the tick tock thundering
Cornered by time, can’t run today
How you gonna get up… to push it away?