You may not know
the name Salim Nourallah but he has been quietly releasing records both solo
and with his brother, Faris (The Nourallah Brothers), for the past decade. He
has also released some records with his band, The Happiness Factor, played with
Old 97’s Rhett Miller on occasion and done some producing as well. In other
words, the guy has kept busy! For
this record Nourallah assembled a cast of characters from bands as
well-traveled as The Apples in Stereo to The Polyphonic Spree and a few in
between. The record was apparently cut loose and quickly and the players’ pure
love of music shines on through.
His material has
ranged from quiet, folky ballads to jacked-up power pop and the songs on Hit Parade fall into both
categories. For this record Nourallah
said he wanted to combine his love for The Clash, The Kinks and, of course, The
Beatles and I, for one, think he succeeded! Opener “38 Rue de Sevigne” was
written in the City of Lights while “Channel 5”
is a laid-back, breezy pop tune, as is “Never Felt Better” (think Ray
Davies). A few of the tunes miss the
mark like the dull title track and the mess (an interlude, really) called “The
Shootist.” Still though, Nourallah and Co.
make up for it on the chiming, chugging “Goddamn Life” and the near-classic
(Tweedy-esque) “Travolta.” One thing is obvious, the guy knows his way around a
hook and isn’t t afraid to display it.
If Hit Parade doesn’t get Nourallah on more
folk’s radar well, their radar is done busted.
DOWNLOAD: “Channel 5”, “Goddamn Life”, “Travolta”,
“Quitter” TIM HINELY