Animal World Recordings
Portland scenesters the No-No’s have been at the indie-pop-punk wheel since the mid-’90s. Tinnitus is their second album and their first full length on Animal World Recordings. The No- No’s experience and proficiency is ever-present and their cast of characters is impressive. The band contains members from Built To Spill, the Feelings, the Halo Benders, and Tiger Trap. And they’re definitely up to the challenge of their pedigree. On Tinnitus, they deliver a raucous blend of belted lyrics and tight instrumentation. Stylistically, The No-No’s harken back and forth to the Fastbacks, Cat Power, and oddly enough, the Go-Go’s (could the name “the No-No’s” have anything to do with that last connection? Doubtful.) The Go-Go’s comparison is most apparent in Robin Bowser’s vocal delivery. She renders and punctuates her lyrics with compelling force, much like Belinda Carlisle did nearly 20 years ago. The No-No’s winning formula has something to do with their fusing older and newer forms: one part riot grrrl (a la Sleater-Kinney), and one part late ’70s angular art rock (with a wink at Television). Tinnitus is a solid record (and the interactive portion adds a nice touch to the CD). Moreover, because the No-No’s are much more musically astute than your average punk outfit, and because they’re edgier than almost any indie-pop band around, they have a unique and refreshing quality about them. It’s not often that someone comes along and bridges discreet genres so effectively, but this is exactly what the No-No’s have done on Tinnitus.
Animal World Recordings, 2205 Tanglewood Terrace, Tallahassee, FL 32303; http://www.animalworldrecordings.com