Vinyl LP £12.49 LOT012 / AUD028
Black vinyl in gatefold sleeve. Ft. members of That Fucking Tank/Hookworms/Cowtown/Mucky Sailor.
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One of the most thrilling and intense bands residing in our fair, bustling city of Leeds is NOPE. I can claim to have watched these lads progressing from their early ragged long single jam sets into the lean psycho-kraut machine that they are today, still specialising in their customary twin-drum assaults but with a finesse and power few can match. This sounds well local fanzine innit?
Head guitar bludgeoner Andy Abbot has another successful venture, That Fucking Tank, in which himself and his mate make proper granite-like punky blues rock. They both love Bruce Springsteen a lot. A "hint of Springsteen" creeps into the brilliant spiky thrash of our opener here, 'The Event'.
The actual central hub of this, frankly great, second big boy's outing for NOPE is the two-part epic 'Walker' which I've no doubt is where they nabbed the album title from. These prog types. Sheesh. We're in a mystical psychedelic forest now, everyone in hoods, it's misty in here. But not frightening. Welcome to the fold. Feel our cymbals. Sense the crystalline guitar shimmers. Touch the enveloping aura of divine ambient sensation. EAT MY RIFFS. GRRRR!
Yes, after being led down the fake garden path of serenity, 'Walker 1' explodes into vicious rock chaos and savages your face off. Like a friendly devil-dog of insanity. I can still hear Springsteen in there. The two sterling chaps on drums whip you into hypno-land then the guitar goes desert rock dusty and gruff. An echo-laden mantra of vocals from fellow guitarist Patrick Dowson and you are in totally the right place to be on a Friday lunchtime. Or any time. 'Walker Pt.1' is a cruise into some of the finest realms of modern psychedelic rock. That's not local band hyperbole. It's a rock hard fact.
'Walker Pt. 2' now. This is Amon Duul cool. Can cool. When krautrock tropes are flexed as reverently as this you could almost be listening to real thing. 'Pt.2' is an orgy of pummelling, crushing psychedelic delight, a fabulous continuation/counterpoint to part one. This ferocious four-piece mix in some of the meatiest, furry rock riffs to the riot of sound. Head. Explodes.
This madness concludes with the wonderful 'Television Fortune' which is a live fave, A relatively atmospheric delight with spiralling icy guitar trails that builds teasingly into something resembling a mushroom trip in a windtunnel, it faintly recalls Japanese power-girls Nisennenmondai's stark minimalist-disco take on the sound but with an extra bucket of intoxicating delirium added to the herculean sonic stampede, one you really don't want to ever cease.
This whole album is underpinned by a crack-shot rhythmic display from Jon 'Cowtown' Nash and, from Leeds panto-prog misfits Mucky Sailor, equally maverick stick-smith Steve Nuttall. They both warrant a massive holler for sure. As most of my German or spacerock records are in storage I need to clutch onto this album for dear life. I've heard literally tons of psych bands in the last few years from White Hills to Mugstar et al. None have quite that verve, imagination, heaviosity or spirit NOPE have. I don't even know if they want their tongue-in-cheek name in capitals. But by heck, they deserve it.
8/10 Peter Kiely 8th July 2014
Yeah, there might already be a review for this album which goes on about how rightfully great this album is, but how could it leave out the DL on the killer intro track that is 'The Event'?
Starting off with some beautifully sweet guitar melodies, and atmospheric washing of cymbals, this opener lulls you into a gentle, false sense of security... then BAM. Double drumming gut punch out of nowhere, before just smashing right into some of the best riffs NOPE have written to date, before ending on a little rhythmic freakout with some ridiculously high Corgan-esque soloing. Great track.
After that, we have the magnum-NOPEus that is Walker, Parts 1&2. It's a meaty piece to get through, but so worth it. Part 1 starts off a little slow, but really starts to grab your attention after some bizarre cymbal muting from Nash&Nuttall which I thought was reversed until I saw them nail it live. This leads nicely something that NOPE do so well... the riff. You can tell where Andy was air-kicking whilst playing this track, and rightfully so. They basically drive through the track with this riff, fuck around with it in some real creative ways, so there's never a dull moment. Part 2 continues leads the riff into a solid kraut-out that has this undeniable affect on your head where you just nod in agreement to every single beat.
Then, we finish the album on the lil' boogie number 'Television Fortune', again with another great riff, that dementedly swirls round you as the beat keeps you moving your feet. I can only dream that Noel Edmonds starts smoking some sweet sativa and has this playing whenever someone wins the jackpot on Deal or No Deal. Would definitely make visiting my nan's house more fun.
9/10 Simon Nutbrown 17th June 2014
High HOPES for NOPE not money for old ROPE!
I stumbled across NOPE quite by accident when their previous long player, "Revision" was released a year or so ago (it might have been a Norman recommendation, I can't remember). I've played it endlessly since and one of the tracks, Black Mask, seems to be permanently running on my internal stereo. So I had high hopes that this release would be as good.
So far it's not a disappointment. Not quite as instantly catchy as the previous one, the twin drum powerhouse behind the riffs really drive this thing along. It's one massive piece of kraut/psyche/space/stoner/noise and deserves to be listed to LOUD.
The transparent blue swirl vinyl looks bloody ace too!!!
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