Melodic. Haunting. Catchy. A few words to describe emotive punk quartet Izzy True’s full-length debut effort, Nope. To be released on punk label Don Giovanni Records August 5th and supported by a subsequent nationwide tour beginning on the east coast starting August 4th, Izzy True’s debut captures a collection of well-crafted songs that encompass a cohesive and unique sound.
Front-person Isabel Reidy has a melodic, emotive, and sultry vocal delivery reminiscent of a Courtney Love/Chrissy Hynde hybrid, but definitely erring on the smoother, softer side of both. A solid rhythm section drives the album with steady backbeats and interlocking driving bass lines. Guitars lay the foundation with tones ranging from clean to overdriven, poppy to grungy, and ethereal lead guitars sparingly but tastefully fill the space.
“Total Body Erasure” is a standout track. It’s layered with energy and a pop sensibility, complete with a quirky, but very welcome cowbell. Reidy’s vocals shine on this cut, as does the lead guitar break, which comes in like a buzzsaw just past the song’s halfway point. “New Age”, “Sex Ghost”, and album title track/album closer “Nope” maintain a slower, laid-back vibe, with darker tones that closely toe the ‘ballad’ line when compared to more up-tempo songs like album opener “Mr. Romance”, and “Which Wish”. The production is true to punk form, in that it’s minimal, and the quartet owns their respective instruments.
There’s a live performance feel and sound to the recordings, with sparse but effective backing vocals, and very little added frills to clutter the clean mixes. Dynamic song arrangements stand out on “Jamie”, which has a haunting bridge worthy of bringing goosebumps, as well as on “Coffee Maker” which takes the listener on a musical journey filled with ear-candy.
From opening to closing track, Nope is an easy listen if you’re looking for songs that are catchy, emotive, and at times, beautifully haunting. Although Nope is a summer release, it is not an album to blast while driving your car with the windows down on a hot summer’s day; it’s one that deserves a more personal at-home or headphone listen, to take in the subtlety and nuance of each track.