Review Summary: Wow.
Punk music generally (that is, hardcore punk) is characterized by its speed; it has a lot of 'fuzz', as musicians call it, cranked into the music; it's high volume, high speed, characterized by protest-type lyrics. American powerviolence outfit No Less
, however, forgo the usual riff-riff-riff-another riff formula and present their unique twist on the genre.
Recorded in 1997, EP Boxed In
is one of the many albums that were conceived during the heydays of modern music. Those were glorious times - Refused finished recording their epic genre-defining release, Isis were in search of a band to rip off and George Kollias got his first drum kit. It was a period of buying music, great levels of experimentation, dedication and immense talent. But No Less proved that it didn't take a lot of talent to create a stunning record. All you needed was a fuckload of drugs.
is an album where you should take nothing for granted. What No Less essentially do here is that they take the unpredictable nature of their former, now disbanded selves - another bunch of powerviolence potheads known as Plutocracy - and make it even more insane, violent and disjointed, making Plutocracy seem almost normal. The result is an album that eschews any genre conventions that may have existed prior to the album's release, an album where the term 'song' loses its meaning right during the first few seconds as you're barraged by a mess of the fuzziest and grimmest of guitars coupled with the most unbelievable, craziest vocals and samples.
There aren't even riffs on this album, everything just sounds like foul, uncompromising noise. The guitarists were so high during the process of riff-making that they couldn't care less what sound came out of their instruments. All you can make out is a certain change in tempo, shifts between fast parts and sludgy parts as the guitarists try to outweed and outhigh each other. This is what meth would sound like if you converted it into mp3. The trippiness knows no boundaries. Kylesa, meet your match.
There are no audible signs of songwriting on this album whatsoever. The attempts at riffs collide with random spoken words passages, off-kilter screams and hip hop samples. This album is even sloppier than Thrice demos. The songs are crammed into two 6-minute sides and you have absolutely no idea where one songs ends and the next one begins. The production is beyond fuzzy. The vocals are bat*** insane, alternating between low rasps and the most ridiculous over-the-top squeals you will ever hear. I don't even know if those shrieks are uttered by a man or woman. In fact, I don't even know how many members are there at all, this band is so obscure they don't even have a Facebook page. The drummer is actually the only member who seems to know what he's doing and isn't afraid to go balls out on drums. I don't even know why I'm listening to these guys at all. It's crazy.
Forget Mezzanine. Forget High on Fire. Forget everything you ever thought you knew about yourself and the music you listened to. This album is the future.