Music Review -newbOrn By No One's Kind
It is hard, these days, to hear any band on the radio
that has truly original, creative material. One begins to question the
evolutionary progress of rock, especially after hearing the bands
played on MTV and VH1, all seeming to use the same musical techniques and
phrases. The thought that rock, that was once played by
"The Doors", "Led Zep" and "Guns 'n Roses" has ended up sounding like
bands like "Good Charlotte" and "Avril Lavigne" makes me want to find a
deep, obscure, dark hole, crawl in, and live the rest of my life in isolation,
surviving on fungus and small insects.
Our generation of sulky teens has seldom heard rock that makes us think,
"Wow, I've never heard that before!"? Well, we still don't. But "newb0rn", the new
release from No One's Kind, sure comes close.
Drawing their influences from several different bands (Tool, Deftones, Nonpoint)
they produce a sound that is a refreshing splash of originality. But a quick caveat is needed:
this CD is NOT for those with coronary problems or backne, for women expecting to give birth
soon, or for those who dig elevator music.
This shizznat is emotionally charged, loud and raw.
Foshizzle, the most striking thing about this new CD is the eclectic mixture of rock sounds,
from punk to funk and from metal to alternative. The driving
force behind most of their songs are the insane guitar riffs. Ryan John (ex Useless)
and Jay Beliveau lay down intense, and surprisingly different
guitar riffs that put the "banging" in head banging. The heavy distortion adds to
the dark power of the sound, giving it a rawness that is hard to find in
popular music today (other than John Mayer ... barf!)
Underpinning the sound of the five-piece band is drummer Rob Wu, whose
use of fantastic rhythms and musical techniques is mindstirring
and almost Danny-Carey-like (thats about as good as it gets, folks).
Wu uses the drums not simply as rhythmic timekeeper, but as an instrument in
its own right, foreshadowing lines on the high hat and supporting the bass
lines and guitar riffs with perfectly placed fills. His exceptional
pounding on the bass drum adds vigor and intensity to the
music. His contagious energy drives the band forward.
The icing on the cake must be singer Dan Cooper. His talent is obvious
in every song, moving through melodies high and low with surprising grace.
However, there's also an intense force and rawness behind his voice, that
multiplies the emotional content in the band's sound. The melodies used
are completely different from other rock tunes; they aren't just an array
of catchy tunes slung casually together, but they form a well thought-out
thematic progression. There are some drawbacks to this fact though ...
more than once, my mother has tried to break down the bathroom door to save me,
convinced that my attempts at singing like No One's Kind's Cooper
were actually cries of mortal pain.
The lyrics, too, are very different from run-of-the-mill songs
(e.g. "why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?").
No One's Kind's lyrics seem to have more meaning, and they way they
are sung gives them a realness and
passion hard to find these days. From the first line of the CD ("Here comes the
cold now ...") to the last one, the lyrics are simple and easy to relate
to, but also original and interesting.
The high point of the CD has to be the second track: "The Art of Breathing
Underwater". Other than having the coolest title ever, the bass lines
and guitar riffs through out the tune are constantly changing, each
one more impressive than the next. This is the
song where the range of sounds used is most varied, through the
use of chords normally NEVER found in a rock setting and intervals never sung.
They give the song a funky feel in addition to their traditional heavy
Ryan John (son of Lokvani contributors: Dr. Roy John and Premi John
of Concord, MA, Ed.) tells us that the band is working on a new album
that will be released in January '04. Citing Deftones as an early
influence John names his fave local band as Throe.
No One's Kind's "newb0rn" is now available in Newbury Comics and other
CD stores near you. The band performs often at local shows and clubs,
for both the over-21 set and under. For more information about the
band and about upcoming shows, visit www.nooneskind.com.
You can also catch the band in action on their video (www.noonesnkind.com)
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