Sunday, 31 August 2014

NO WAY - Sing Praises EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 27/5/2014
Label:  Self-Released

"Sing Praises" Cassette/DD track listing:  

1). The Cutting 03:03
2). Shake the Meat 03:08
3). War Dance 03:40
4). Pastures / Abuelas 08:34


NO WAY self-released Sing Praises in May 2014. Recorded by Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Pelican, Shrinebuilder) and mastered by Carl Saff (Young Widows, Helms Alee, OFF!, Kowloon Walled City, Big Business), the record has been described as "distinctly dark, but favoring the macabre over the bleak, and aggression over despair" with heavy doses of "rhythmic complexity and brute force."

Formed in 2012, NO WAY have firmly established themselves in the New York punk scene. Within the past year, the band have opened for many innovative heavy bands, including Whores., Fight Amp, Black Tusk, Inter Arma, American Sharks, Cancer Bats, Naam and White Hills, to name just a few.

Although often compared to legendary NYC noise acts Helmet and Unsane, NO WAY have developed a sound that mixes physical, red-lined abrasiveness with dirgy, LSD-tinged psychedelia of Sonic Youth, Swans and Spacemen 3.

NO WAY have select regional dates planned for the Fall while they write their next batch of songs. The band plans to tour the West Coast before recording in Spring 2015.

The Band:

Chuck Berrett | vocals
Jordan Melkin | guitar
Dave Maffei | bass
Christopher Enriquez | drums


I threw this on at work and the thing that came to mind was SMASH STUFF.  As I cannot punch any of my patients, I stayed tuned in for an abrasive blend of noise rock and hardcore.  NO WAY's debut EP "Sing Praises" starts heavy and ends heavy.  Starting with the caustic opener "The Cutting" which never lets up throughout its length, gorging us on a riff-fest of epic proportions.

The second track "Shake the Meat" has a crazy layout and jumps furiously all over the place with scything guitar over rolling drumbeats.  Syncing into the heavy but brief head nodding chorus which transitions on second pass into a nice brief open section before coming back with some furious almost tremelo picked punk fury definitely a fun song that I'm sure is killer live.

The third track "War Dance" starts with a plucked Native American feeling open riff with some simple but pretty decent clean singing.  With a cool moving chorus when NO WAY breaks back into the verse they add some cool rhythmic syncopation that I can only describe as being similar to Tomahawk's more straightforward songs.  

Closing their debut EP "Pasture/Abuela" starts with some choice bass grind moving under some feedbacking guitar melody as the vocals kick in.  A song that begins almost strangely out of place, "Pasture/Abuela" delves into deeper sonic territory then the proceeding tracks and includes a slick noise/feedback guitar freak-out in lieu of a chorus.  The bridge of "Pastures/Abuela" brings the song back to ground with a spiraling Unsane style riff which meanders into some cool changes.  An awesome track that literally flips genre mid song but is written so well it's completely seamless.  As the track concludes I am left wondering which tracks are my favourites and honestly they are all really good.

A riveting debut from a band that successfully integrates the feel of noise-rock with the fury and aggression of hardcore, spitting out an arty hydra of epic proportions leaving me eagerly wishing for a full length/full US tour. 

Words by: Chris Tedor

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