Fun Limbo by Nopes

Release date: May 26, 2017
Label: Magnetic Eye Records

I was nervous about this EP. Because Nopes‘ last album, Never Heard of It, was one of my records of the year in 2016. Would a follow-up, especially one so hasty, prove to be a crushing disappointment?

Well, thankfully, no. This seven-inch of only five songs is noticeably different to Never Heard of It, however it contains all the bits that made that album great. Like noise, attitude and an ability to slip in slices of achingly good melody among big sandpapery blasts of punk.

Having said that, Fun Limbo, as the title suggests, isn’t quite as exuberant as their previous effort. It has a slight sneer – but it is still delivered with quite a punch. As you can hear in the first song, ‘Steady’, which is a wallop of abrasive noise, which hides a thumpingly good bass groove.

It is over in a flash before ‘Stirring’ whacks you in the face with a racket that sounds as if The Descendents switched their tried and trusted coffee for something far stronger and more illegal.

‘Midnight Parking Lot’ allows you to draw breath with a lolloping riff that makes me think of elephants walking. Don’t ask me why. But it shows the band have more than one string to their bow – which was evident in songs like ‘Duran Duran Duran’ on their previous long-player. Just as they can blast us with noise, they can sit on a loop for a few minutes in a sort of Can-turned-punk kind of way.

They drag us back to rowdiness on the B-side with ‘Shedding’, which brings to mind early Pixies songs, with its solid bassline, scratchy guitar and quiet-loud-LOUD pattern.

The finale, ‘Contemporary Listening’, is another slow(ish) one and it is a world-weary number – as if the lights have been turned on at the end of the show and you can see the beer stains, puke and unpaired shoes among sweaty bodies. It is the sort of song you feel you need a wash after listening to it. I mean this in the best possible way – imagine the sort of song that brings you comfort when you hate the entire world and its inhabitants. This is that song. As a matter of fact the entire seven-inch is perfect for that kind of mood. Buy it. Play it loud. Annoy the neighbours. They’re probably pricks anyway.

Listen to the full stream of Fun Limbo exclusively here:

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