Top Sounds - N

NEIGHBORHOOD BRATS - Confines Of Life {Dirt Cult} Album number three for one of the best Punk bands doing the rounds in Los Angeles (in fact, anywhere). Kinda sense a bit of maturing here too - not maturing in a Fleetwood Fucking Mac sense, but in a Rock ‘n’ Roll X way. Punks need not worry though - this is still exhilarating, incinerating and intelligent Punk Rock featuring 12 tracks, among which is a cover of JOAN JETT’s ‘I Want You’. Of the remainder, best bits include ‘Signs And Semantics’ that has some stellar DEAD KENNEDYS-style guitar lines, ‘We’ll Find You’ that is like AVENGERS mashing it up with X, the sheer, righteous fury of ‘Harvey Weinstein (Is A Symptom)’ and the ecological ‘I Weep For The Future’ while highlight is album opener, ‘Who Took The Rain’ that fuses BRIEFS Punk with RED DONS dynamics and highlights how strong the vocals of Jenny Angelillo have become - she’s confident, strong and has a touch of Penelope Houston about a lot of her delivery. This is a band that hasn’t released a duff record - single or album. The last album, ‘Claw Marks’ is a particular fave... but in ‘Confines Of Life’ the whole band has stepped it up, progressed and remained vital. Better than ‘Claw Marks’? I think it might be. Classic? Very likely. (17.07.22)
NOI!SE - Base Rage On The Front Page {Pirates Press} A first glance, this seems incredibly self-indulgent: a one sub-three-minute track, single sided 12” single. However, this is printed using UV technology onto clear vinyl, resulting in four different coloured lenses. Looking through each lens at the backing card presents presents hidden images and words and additional meaning behind the song. A gimmick? I suppose you could call it that. As for the song, it’s quite the rager. Think ‘New Kind Of Army’-era ANTI-FLAG bite fused with SICK OF IT ALL muscle and you’re pretty much there. Punchy and power-packed, sneering and singalong. Last few things I’ve heard by this quartet outta Tacoma, Washington has really impressed. Can’t help but feel though that the gimmick (as inventive and complimentary to the song it might be) takes precedence over the music here. 12”s of vinyl? One song that doesn’t hit three-minutes? C’mon - at least another two tracks would’ve made this a much more attractive purchase. (25.08.21)
NOi!SE - Welcome To Tacoma {Pirates Press} Four track download-only EP from this band that rather impressed on the recent ‘4-Way Split’ EP. This is a whole different kettle of Punk Rock though as where I heard RANCID meets NAKED RAYGUN, this is an all-acoustic EP. There is still a bit of THE BOMB about this if coupled with Pirates Press labelmate, LENNY LASHLEY, some very capable playing and very clear, crisp production that really benefits the tunes. Of the four tracks, it’s ‘So I Drift Away’ that features some neat vocal harmonies and a great guitar lead and ‘Rank And File’ with its brief unaccompanied section and guitar playing that’s of a standard that would make the likes of PAUL BRADY and LUKA BLOOM envious, that impress most. I really liked this; the playing is really solid and inventive, the songs fit the acoustic setting incredibly well and unlike many bands who try the acoustic path, it’s not a cheap ode to THE POGUES. Impressive. (12.04.21)
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