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NoMeansNo | The Peoples Choice | review | rock | Lollipop
The People's Choice (AntAcidAudio)
by Craig Regala
And they mean it MAAAAANNNNN! Nomeansno culled the responses to what y'allz out there thought would be a good collection. Well, "y'allz" did a righteous job. But really, unless the fan base was going for esoteric live, b-side-ery etc., how could they not? Face it, these guys sprang from the punk/wahoo/art bang wave that ignited under from the fertile SST record label's first five years at the dawn of the '80s, which awakened the individualist rock impulse that defined the next decade. Nomeansno were the historical link between Minutemen and The Jesus Lizard: Full of sincere love of music (and humanity, no matter how flooded with duh its individual members may be), banging together jabbering personal observations, warm full-on hard rock, mid-to-quick tempos, berserk breakdown-turnaround-give-the-dog-a-bone shit you'd expect from many hours listening to King Crimson, MX-80 Sound, The Sleepers, and Deep Purple, as well as punk rock, first generation. Oh yeah, and no farting around. The larger culture defined such things in the '80s as "alternative" or "fuckin' punk rock" or "that shit them fags like."
"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing." (1940s jazz shout out, kinda like MC5's "Kick out the jams motherfuckers" or throwing the horns in the '80s.) Remember that. After the social/sociological moment you come across via this-or-that, "underground" or "revolution" or whatnot, all that will be left is the sound and songs coming out of the speakers. Any nostalgia you feel for the time "your moment" sprang from is naught but grist for the money mill, so shitcan it. I did. I've bought hundreds (ok
downloaded) of "classics" and "legends" and most of it's mere crap from my pre-back hair era. The long haul is tough, too tough for most/almost all bands. But not these guys. They know that winning is predicated on knowing who and what you are, stripped of all pretense, shame, and facade.
Let's recap: If you don't know about these guys and want a place to start, sign up. For fans of Minutemen, Mission of Burma, The Jesus Lizard, Melvins, The Rollins Band, Faith No More, Craw, Braid, and me.