None More Black

Icons

Written by: PP on 19/11/2010 20:41:40

Fat Wreck have been awfully quiet as of late, only putting out a few albums this year. I guess the financial crisis combined with the free-falling record sales has hit them pretty hard. Every now and then they do release an album, which nearly always contains quality punk rock, this one being no exception. Let me introduce to you None More Black and their third album "Icons", an excellent rendition of Midwestern punk with some additional styles mixed in to gain some flair, but then again many of you might already be familiar with the band considering they are fronted by Jason Shevchuk of Kid Dynamite fame.

That knowledge alone guarantees some fairly awesome coarse-but-melodic vocals, but what makes None More Black stand out is their active enthusiasm for The Lawrence Arms styled melodic punk rock with rough edges around the guitars. The songs are mostly hook driven, but even include some rockabilly in places, not to even mention the mid tempo rockers with quiet gang vocals supporting the melody line. See "Here Comes Devereux" for a good example of the latter. The point is, they belong to the same melodic punk scene as bands like Banner Pilot and Dillinger Four, which tends to put out superb releases in a very consistent fashion. A song like "I'm Warning You With Peace & Love" is quintessential to the genre mentioned, showcasing how catchy and memorable a song can be produced out of so little, in this case a fast d-beat and some coarsely textured but melodic vocals plus a sing-along chorus. Even the non-punk fans should appreciate this one.

Though the album starts out decent, it's the second half that rules the record. The songs here innovate in terms of rhythms and melodies used, thus distinguishing themselves from textbook punk rock. Still, the instrumentals are pretty much from the Lawrence Arms song book, with slightly less frantic tempo. Shevchuk's a bit better vocalist than either of the Lawrence guys, and it's his delivery halfway between clean and coarse that makes this album as good as it is. "Icons" might not be fantasic, but it lands safely in the higher ratings, further cementing None More Black's position within the melodic/Midwestern punk scene.

Download: I'm Warning You With Peace & Love, Backpedal
For the fans of: The Lawrence Arms, Versus You, Banner Pilot, Rumspringer
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.10.2010
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