Nopes – “Never Heard of It” (Magnetic Eye)
The Nopes are a fresh Eastbay punk outfit centered around Oakland who are part of the ‘fringe’ punk movement. Guess that means they’re too much even for regular punks. No kidding. For those of us who come from the generation of The Descendents and Angry Samoans, then wired, off the wall punk played at heart stopping frenicity might be an apt description – or for the neurotic: noisy, fast and loud. It’s certainly that but also more in the grunge elements with lots of herky, jerk bits added in to make one mutha of a banh mi! Alex Petralia’s weird, tripped out vocals remain psyched out like he’s singing them inside a shower cubicle throughout the 12 tracks here right from the manic, sliding fretboard riffing of ‘Poetry In Motion’ to the decibel shattering ‘Cubes’. Motivated by being poor ass and scraping by comes ‘I Hate Living In The City’ although with some surprisingly funky beats and melodic guitar licks despite its touchy subject. The grunge smog comes in thick on the aptly named ‘Blinds’ with again a very cool, catchy riff before the “Apocalypse Now” instrumental mayhem of ‘Duran Duran Duran’ had me both smoked and simultaneously spaced out. Closing with the surprisingly normal and upbeat punk rock n roll of ‘Ditches’, Matt Hansen’s melodic, clanging riffs give you a straight A pass having got this far in the cacophony, realizing at last why they call the Nopes ‘spazz’ punk.