Sunday, September 24, 2023

NOMEANSNO - Wrong 1989

It's time for a classic by a band that started in 1979 and thrilled me live several times with their sometimes jazzy and highly explosive sound. Wrong is the fourth album by NoMeansNo and was released through Alternative Tentacles. A bit info: Critic Martin Popoff described their music as "the mightiest merger between the hateful aggression of Punk and the discipline of Heavy Metal. Nomeansno's distinct hardcore punk sound, complex instrumentation, and dark, "savagely intelligent" lyrics inspired subsequent musicians. They are often considered foundational in the Punk Jazz and Post-Hardcore movements, and have been cited as a formative influence on the math rock and emo genres. This album is a blast from the first to the last note, powerful, dynamic, refreshing and hearty and shows the band in top formDrummer John described it as the band's "most popular album by a country mile". When asked to speculate as to the reasons why Wrong enjoyed such relative success, John attributed it to the mainstream success of Nirvana and the rising popularity of alternative music:

"The kind of music we were playing, and then Nirvana before they got popular, and that kind of alternative...Punkrock was getting to that point where a lot of bands were just starting to get into that commercial breakthrough, and when Nirvana did, well of course that spelled the end of it all. But it sort of simmered to that point, and then people wanted to hear bands like Nirvana, which weren't Hardcore, not pop or rock, it was sort of more heartfelt music, and we were sort of caught up in that... In Europe especially, the music scene was just exploding. We completely attribute all of our success to going and playing in Europe. That's where all the buzz about us came from. We were touring throughout the States in the mid-80s, and we'd get a little bit of audience here and there, but after a couple of years in Europe, we started doing some big shows there, and all of a sudden, people in the States were coming out to our shows. And we went from getting paid $200 to getting paid $1000. It was just like that. You had to have the buzz, and then it all just kind of blew up. Every major label tried to sign every band, and then it became no longer an alternative, it sort of became co-opted by the mainstream and people moved on to hip hop and dub step and then everyone got sick of rock and roll and went to raves."

They released ten albums by 2016, I only know their first five, but NoMenasNo were one of the most extraordinary combos I was able to experience and are still worth listening to and always a good reason to buy a record. đź‘Ť

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