Noah And The Loners

[A Desolate Warning sleeve]A Desolate Warning (EP, 2024)

Marshall Records

First off, let's get one thing out of the way – this band is young – exactly how young I'm not sure, but they don't need (or want, I should imagine) any special pleadings on that count.

Musically, this is great, really catchy, fresh, proper punk rock with tunes. Lyrically, they tend to stumble when attempting political subject matter – Crash Landing has lyrics that remind me of a Subhumans filler track, but I can't dislike any song that has the line "Talking to my mum, She says the toffs are all crooks", and Protest Anger is similarly basic ("You’re all talking bollocks while you feast on lobster and scallops")*.

Hell of a Day reminds me of I Predict a Riot by Kaiser Chiefs (not a good thing), but again, manages to triumph through sheer exuberance, including the classic line "I hate this town, It's full of scumbag cunts".** It's when they deal with the personal, that they really shine: Teenage Tragedy, a tale of that first rush of love/lust when you're not sure if the other person feels the same, or whether the relationship is anything more that a drunken tryst, is great, but You Make Me (Fall Apart)*** is brilliant.

It owes a clear debt to the quiet/ loud/ quiet dynamic employed by Nirvana (and their more clueless copyist), and there's not many lines in it, and what little there are could easily sound obvious and clumsy ("You make my thoughts turn dark").

BUT (and it's a very important 'but'), the genuine pain and desperation in the vocal really push it up out of the realm of cliché. Any song that has someone almost screaming "You break my fucking heart" repeatedly and doesn't make me cringe is a fucking good song.

The cover design is bleedin' 'orrible; but you can't have everything.

*Shades of Conflict's Exploitation ("Well, I've heard all the screams of another barmy army, But who sits in hotels with champagne and salami?").

**A lot of people don't like the word, but I think it's magical.

* It's all in the parenthesis. 7/10

Nick Hydra (April 2024)