Thursday, 2 April 2009
Los Angeles based duo No Age had a more profound effect on the noise punk scene that i think they realised. Certainly at the time, their presence on best of 2008 lists of hundreds was a shock to most, complacent with the subtelties of Fleet Foxes, Tv On The Radio, Bon Iver and the rest of 2008's album of the year candidates. What No Age did was revive a genre quiet in the mainstream blogosphere, into something acceptable, which has subsequently been found in much more abundance than anyone would have realised 2 years ago.
These projects come in the form of firstly Nathan Williams or 'Wavves' who released his eponymous debut 'Wavves' in 2008. In terms of sound, picture lo-fi driven beach boys songs, coated in crackling guitar (you know that too loud for the speakers sound Neutral Milk Hotel pulled off so well?) under high pitched harmonies and loud punk rock chord sequences. The songs don't pretend to be revolutionary, in fact most are quite simple, but put together as an LP they can undoubtedly tick that very box. Williams takes that chord banging, melody scratching approach we saw on No Age's Nouns, takes it to the beach, coats it in a 'wavve' of distorted, overdriven choral psychedelia, and sends it right back where it came from. Second album 'Wavvves' is out now, and waiting for you to buy it.
The second noteworthy project, again has formed since the start of 2008, and goes by the name of vivian girls. This is closer to post-punk and shoegaze than the distorted beach melodies of wavves however retains the noise and distortion element and punk rock charm. Vivian Girls are in fact very close to the female equivalent of Wavves, comprising of four women touring straight out of high school and collecting a large following pretty quickly in New York since their formation. Their sound also incorporates a definite 60s to 70s girl group harmony style vocal, which over the shoegazy lo-fi punk instrumentals makes for an interesting listen.
Vivian Girls - Where Do You Run To? (mp3)
Wavves - No Hope Kids (mp3)