Tuesday, October 8, 2013

nouns : "Still Bummed"




  nouns are a bizarre three piece band from Conway, Arkansas who formed in March of 2013. They most frequent what is an indie rock form of shoe-gaze, but explode into spastic punk upon occasion. The opener is quirky punk jaunt about how they prefer dogs over cats , rats or wolves.There is a little Day Dream Nation era Sonic Youth to their guitar tone at times. 

The title track borders on being math rock, but veers into a Brand New flavored rock riff, with the vocals becoming as hoarse as Hot Water Music. So they are very influenced by early emo bands. "School Bus" find the band drifting into the dreamy shoe gazing sound that I think it one of the stronger sounds they venture into, though this is also where they burst into blasting punk. The jolting change of course is as an abrasive as they could have hoped for.

On songs like "Conch" the band collides the blur influences in a way that defies description, though if pressed to pin them down the Pixies would be in the closest zip code. I had heard these guys described as post-punk , while I would say that label is not very fitting I'm glad I stumbled across these guys , even if they are the only band of this ilk of indie rock I can really say I listen to.

The gaze returns to their Converses on "Yaw" they build the song in a way that gleams from post- rock bands of today but none of it has the Joy Division like darkness of what we call post-punk at least on this site. Things like the brief minute of crooning on "Dumped" is only a minute long so it feels more like an interlude to me than a song. There is a strange darker moment with "way" where samples sit over a slow drum beat and piano riff , before hard core like screaming comes in.There are some cool sonic swathes that sweep across this song , making it noisy and drone but in more effective dynamic than most bands capture.

The drift of "You aren't the One that I Want" is layered with falsetto vocals , that are not quite in key but the over all feel of the song distracts from that irking me. These guys capture some great guitar sounds, and for indie rock that normally finds the lo-fi route the coolest to take, this album sounds great and is garage quality only when it intends to be in some of the more punk moments. 

Sometimes veers into a nasal vocal that reminds me of Modest Mouse, and this would appeal to fans of that bands pre-radio material, "the Graduate" finds his voice taking on such a quality, the guitar floats around it creating the prefect back drop for them.The closer is consistent but not climatic as "big fuck and how I'm coping with it" lets the guitar as a fuzz in the background until it all bangs but in with samples and electronics. 

I'll give this album a 9, as it's  a lot of fun and sounds great, i wish some of the moments they captured here could have had more room to let my ears bathe in them and some of the punk moments are of a more obnoxious ilk than I normally listen to but can be appreciated for what they are.


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