Like a kick in the eye, NoPop’s latest EP See Pretty has a pretty obvious focal reference point of the Pixies. But NoPop takes the sound and makes it their own. The songs here have elements of off kilter Pop laced with Punk, Psychobilly, No Wave, Ska and more; all blended up into a frothy mix of anger and menace, with a double shot of ironic snarkiness on the side. Add to that a knowing wink as they tear down some of societies most beloved sacred cows and institutions, like friendship, love and television and you might just have the makings of a classic.
The sheer amount of styles, sensations and experiences compressed into this slim 16 minute package is amazing. I was blown away when I saw the length of this release, it really feels like a complete, full length album.
‘Love-y-Love’ starts it off with some darkly crunching riffs then swings into a loping funk beat. Sounding a lot like something Hole might have produced, “All Friends” alternates between soft chants and banshee screams from Housle laid on top of a skittering punk riff.
The centerpiece of the album is “O, TV” a chugging maelstrom of angry guitars, plaintive wailing and a weirdly unsettling chorus from drummer Rachel Housle that’s a perfect counterpoint to it all. Closing out the album is “Talk Trauma”, an odd mash-up of Goth and Ska that features a blast of out of control guitar shredding matched to a screaming chorus begging “Get me out of here”.
Which, (aside from a .37 second afterthought) is a fitting close to a truly dynamite debut EP from a band that has some great ideas and the chops to pull them off gloriously. Striking a balance between total chaos, weirdness extraordinaire and raw emotion, this band has what it takes to go the distance. I cant wait for the next installment.