Review: No Sun by Nonagon

There's a wonderful urgency about punk rock -- that's what makes it so enticing. No matter the message, there's that undercurrent of "Listen now! Hurry!' that for one moment makes the listener perk up and pay attention. Whether the music can maintain that level of interest is a whole 'nother matter entirely.

Nonagon, a local band boasting lots of local cred -- the trio includes Tony Aimone (The Blue Meanies, Taylor, J. Davis Trio), Robert Gomez (der lugomen, Martian Law), and John Hastle (Jumpknuckle). Their debut EP, No Sun, was recorded in town by Greg Norman, and the awesome screenprinted packaging was printed by The Bird Machine folks with help from poster boy Jay Ryan. All that's missing is a Chi flag tattoo, a Hot Doug's dog, and a bottle of Malört.

What No Sun brings to the table is the punka rocka requisites: fast riffs, supertight drumming, and screamy vocals that demand attention. What's their message? It's hard to say, frankly, but the clean, poppy melodies mostly distract from any lack of diction or liner notes. There's something rather nice and early '90s much of the release, particularly about the instrumental "Peterson." But it's really "Fake Baby Lucius" that is the best example of what Nonagon's capable of: cohesive, kick-in-the-face punk.

Unfortunately, toward the end of the EP, No Sun falls into the familiar punk rock trap of what we'll call "sameyness." It's sort of hard to differentiate the tracks at this point, and while their experiments with time signatures is admirable, it's not quite enough to pull it out of the rut.

But, you know, for an EP, four outta six ain't bad. I'd love to see what these guys do live, and even moreso what they could do with a full-length album.

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