28 April, 2012

Recent Love (It's Been a Shitty Day Edition)

Nonagon, People Live Everywhere
OK, kids, see that ←? That's called cover art. Get with the program. Nonagon are with the program. How come you can't get with the program?
ANYhoo, as mentioned, Nonagon are with the program. There are only five songs on People Live Everywhere and, when there're only five songs, you know that there's not going to be any filler.
Oh, god. Did I just type that? That sounds like a lazy music journalist's line. But, I mean, hey, there're only five songs. You get me, right? When you have an economy of material - and then, you know - I should probably just start talking about the songs now, shouldn't I? Yeah, I should.
Jesus, it's only a quarter to three. I can crack open a beer at a quarter to three, right? It's fucking Saturday.
ANYhoo (yes, ANYhoo, again), People Live Everywhere opens with a computer voice saying "Here we go, fellas" before a mean - and I mean "mean" as in schoolyard bully, not mean in the manner that some ex-Hollywood radio DJ would say it to describe something as cool (apologies to anybody in Nonagon who may have once been a Hollywood radio DJ, I don't know these things) - bassline comes in to announce the arrival of "Vikings" (Like what I did there?) and then the guitar and drums come in with such a swing to them that it fucks up your initial expectations. Sure, it's still heavy but now it has a particular grandeur to it. A sort of grandeur that you could hear in Fugazi songs back in the day, where every three and a half minutes was either an anthem or an epic (and, trust me, neither of those were bad things).
If I can say Fugazi one more time - I can? OK. What's that? I can only say it once more and that's it? Alright, I can do that. So if I can say Fugazi one more time, can somebody remind me which song off Repeater it is that the guitar intro to "Fresnel Lens" is reminding me of?* Maybe I'm off on that assessment. Maybe it's just because both guitarists use SGs and they kind of have the same timbre. I don't know. Look, I'm trying to keep this record review about Nonagon and not get into the shitty shitty morning I had.

The shitty morning currently being remedied.
ANYhoo (I'm doing that a lot, today.) "Fresnel Lens" is another one where I'm digging the bass player, this time for that I can't remember the last time I heard a bassline that made me dizzy. Be sure to correct me on that after you pick up the free download of the song on their Bandcamp page.
"The Swifts" was, I'm assuming, written with some cycle-rage in heart because when I first gave People Live Everywhere a listen last week, I was out for my usual ride around the lakes. "The Swifts" is perfect for when you have to deal with them ponces what ride side-by-side and all slow like and make for you to have to yell at them to get the fuck out of the way. If Scrapbooker's Lying for the Sake of Lying was the 2011 Cycle Rage Soundtrack, Nonagon's People Live Everywhere is a contender for the 2012 title. (Too soon to tell, Nonagoners. But, so far, you're in first place and there's only another month before I announce that title.) (Which totally isn't even a real thing.) (Except it so is, now.)
Because it's like this: You need a soundtrack for the summer bike rides. It's fucking 90goddamned°F, it's humid like a bitch, you're hungover and riding around at twenty miles per hour with pedestrians in your goddamned bike lane, constantly on the brink of getting an awkward cycle half-chub from checking out the cheesecake jogging around the lake in their jogging shorts and sports bras, and you just want to get this fucking lap over with so you can hit the bar and have your favorite Sunday bartender make you a bloody fucking mary or three before you have to bike home and make lunch. That's how it is. You need a soundtrack to that experience. And you need it at the beginning of summer to last all through it. You can't hand that award out afterward, when shit's too late. No. That's just foolish.
So, therefore, I am announcing within this record review that, I don't know, sometime in June, probably in the first week, SD&A will announce its first ever winner of the 2012 Cycle Rage Soundtrack Award... which, yeah, looks right now like it's just going to be Nonagon so, there's that. Of course, the shitty part about that award is that it means you have to buy the .mp3s to put on your listening device which totally wasn't why Nonagon submitted for a review. They submitted a review because People Live Everywhere is out on vinyl. So, I mean, it looks like you're just going to have to buy both. (Like what I did there?)
Where were we? Oh, yes, the part where I should be talking about the record. Well, I guess we can talk about the fourth song since that's kind of where we're at now. "Fadeout" is the instrumental, the one that gets used in the movie scene where the antihero is pushed to his limit and he's in the car and it's late at night and he's heading over to the villain's - house? abandoned warehouse? secret lair? wherever it is villains hang out and you know something is about to go off the chain in about a minute.
Have I used that analogy before?
No, I said something in the last Joe 4 review about an antihero lighting a cigarette before he tears somebody up. So, I'm still good. I think.
"Severe Presence" closes the album but it comes in with such a heavy intro that you would think the auto-repeat kicked in and you were back at the beginning of the record. This is not the song you want to hear in a waiting room or in line at the grocery store (guilty on two counts of that last one), this is a song that demands movement, like dodging traffic on Nicollet after hitting the Vietnamese place or having to hand out the old British two-finger salute to every asshole that can't make up his mind which direction he's trying to point his car in while you're just trying to cash your paycheck and hit the post office. Like I said, in a month, this record will officially be SD&A's 2012 Cycle Rage Soundtrack unless there's a come-from-behind-upset in said month's time but I trust my gut on this shit. Joe 4 won record of the year and it's only April (Why wait until December / January?) and I'm right about that (because I say I'm right about that). Nonagon are taking the 2012 Cycle Rage Soundtrack title and, you know what? I made that shit up, therefore whatever I say about it is the right thing to the say. Try to correct me. I'll just make something else up. Push me, motherfucker.
Am I doing it again? Making it about me? Sorry about that. Look, if you want to preview SD&A's soon-to-officially-be-the-winner-of-an-award-made-up-while-writing-this-review, go to Nonagon's Bandcamp where you can buy the vinyl for relaxed home listening, buy the .mp3s for playing chicken with those asshole pedestrians in the damned bike lane, and stream the record all day. You can also see their show schedule there. So mark your calendars and roadtrip to Chicago to catch them on the 26th of May playing Renegade Lights which, according to the listing on Songkick, is going to be an eight band bill for five bucks at the door. Go. This just in: Turns out that the Nonagon playing Renegade Lights is the Nonagon from San Francisco that makes ambient music, not the Nonagon we've been talking about here. You can still go if you like. According to the Songkick listing, the proceeds from that show will go to help another band replace the equipment that was stolen from them. So you still get to do a good deed. And when you go, make sure you have People Live Everywhere in your headphones.

* Note: 30 April, 2012, I just realized the answer is "Sieve-Fisted Find".

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