There are times when I feel I spend a lot of time shouting the virtues and rich inheritance of rock that remains largely unknown south of the (US/Canaduh) border. As a Canuck in the Yankee’s court of The BTO I try to reference, when I can, our golden nuggets of dirty rock, noise, garage, punk, post and proto and offer that there’s an aspect to the vastness of this expanse of faded idealism and empty space that compels some bands to play louder and bigger to fill that space. The distance between us all up here that encourages us Canadians to rock louder and harder than some denser, smaller countries (I mean fuckin’ Big Sugar? Hello, Tricky Woo? Bison, BC? ‘Nuff said…)
But if not for the increasing tightness of the border and the wiles and sidesteps bands have to do to drag rock back to the spawning grounds of the USA, y’all Americans would see more searingly good bands like N.N.
Dirty, raw, loud and unpretentious, these five bros from Edmonton, Alberta are a surprising breath of fresh air from the armpit of the prairies.. or as I call it, “The Methscape”. Heavy, heavy and simple riffs that anyone could get behind, from the hit single ear-worm “Poisoning Me”, there’s no shortage of head bobbing-ly awesome gutter riffage that hits a tough stride on “U” with some riffs that could have been drawn from Touch & Go era Butthole Surfers or even Mudhoney. Then centerpiece “Bitter Man” gets cranking and I realize what a great singer Carmelo is.. the pathos is restrained and when the songs pops into the explosive bridge, he just GOES INSANE, sounding somewhere in between Peter Murphy, Gibby Haynes and Thomas Antona from Alice Donut. In fact there are a few Alice Donut-esque moments of hard and weird riffy psychedelia droning, like “Not Tonight” which could’ve been an outtake from Revenge Fantasies of the Impotent .
Pulling liberally from every good genre of rock, N.N. really sound like true believers, paring down the riffs and songs to a gloriously sludgy essence, the drums and bass a pillar of stone, the guitars burned and rough, the vocals dangerous and full of pathos. When the peaks hit and culminate in every song you know it’s heartfelt and all of that desperation and controlled energy just leaps out of this collection of songs, which translate live into a fury of the same mosh-worthy explosiveness. Tour beasts all, N.N. will hopefully be hitting the US soon so all can have a taste of some true Canuck rock music.