NoMeansNo
Wrong


5.0
classic

Review

by Martin L. USER (44 Reviews)
April 19th, 2013 | 221 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It’s catching up, I’m fucked

It didn’t take some grandiose epiphany for Wrong to commandeer my ears and whittle away at my conscience, unlike some other albums I regard as “classic.” Little by little, the Canadian post-hardcore band opened up for me: deeper layers of complexity appeared, reasons to appreciate the band became evident. Wrong is a classic, and album that easily traverses genre borders but manages to skirt definition, all the while exuding a compressed intensity that becomes a little more naked with each listen.

The issue isn’t that Wrong is some deep, ethereal experience of an album that requires meditation to get. Far from it. Unabashed in its simplicity, Nomeansno are straightforward and ever-aggressive, though in a positive manner where their anger isn’t quite directed towards anyone or anywhere in particular. It’s a quality that makes the album all the more relatable and listenable, even if this wasn’t a conscious decision made by the Canadians.

Likewise, the lyrics are an obvious highlight. The jarring rhythms and spastic character of the riffs follow the lead of the vocals and vice versa, as Rob Wright soulfully belts out distinct, well-pronounced yells. Unlike some of their contemporaries who strived for the whole “clear message and agenda” schtick, the themes on Wrong are scattered-brained, but sincere. After countless listens, the entirety of the lyrics scream “Hey fuck it, we know it’s a punk record... why act like it’s more?” to me, and this fits perfectly, even given the tidbits of one-liner-wisdom strewn throughout.

Nomeansno have often been heralded as a “progressive” band for their ability to pull in elements of funk, metal, and hardcore, but saying so almost seems redundant... isn’t that a quintessential tenet of post-hardcore, anyway? What should be fawned over is the band’s ability to do so naturally. Consider the funky bassline in “Big Dick” combined with the track’s metallic, driving power and odd, reggae beat in the center, for good measure. I’m less impressed by the singular ingredients than I am by the finished product: a stylistically amazing and aesthetically raw centerpiece of early 90s punk music that never sacrifices a cinch of intensity or creativity.

“The Tower,” a perfect track if I’ve ever heard one, acts as a sort of microcosm for Wrong. The percussion opens up with a mechanical simplicity, but as the rabid coughing and screams gain momentum, the musicianship begins to morph and unhinge, weirdly reminiscent of the most organic and freewheeling Minutemen tracks. In this way, Nomeansno were just as much a product of the mid-80s (think: Dead Kennedys, Big Black) as they were a band in the 90s.

It would be worthless to act like Nomeansno represents some bastion of quality compared to today’s shit post-hardcore scene. Doing so would be slander against Wrong, an album that doesn’t claim to be anything more than it is and ends all the better for it. Fuck it... we know it’s just a punk record... why act like it’s more?



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Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 19th 2013


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this record. Great review too.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2013


24098 Comments


I've decided to start retroactively voyaging into all the punk I've never listened to. Snagged this shit yesterday.

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

InfamousGrouse
April 19th 2013


3592 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Have you heard the news?

THE DEAD WALK

Cygnatti
April 19th 2013


22288 Comments


dis shtuff rules.

Digging: Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg

sixdegrees
April 19th 2013


17706 Comments


right

Digging: Sputnik - Christmas At Our House

Gyromania
April 19th 2013


16088 Comments


great work on the review! only thing i'd point out is the last two paragraphs are a little fleeting. i think you could probably add more to them.

KILL
April 19th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

such a great record

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

porch
April 20th 2013


8460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yup


kitsch
April 20th 2013


5107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

why is this the only nmn record that anyone ever talks about

Inveigh
April 20th 2013


25198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's the only one I've heard, but it's awesome

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

porch
April 20th 2013


8460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i dunno but i posted links to songs off their other records in another thread, i did my part

haven't listened to any of their stuff in a long time tho admittedly


kitsch
April 20th 2013


5107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love you porch we need to hang out are you anywhere close to the midwestern united states

i think u said u lived in uk or ireland but i could be mistakne

porch
April 20th 2013


8460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah ireland right now but hey we might chill next time i'm back in the states

kitsch
April 20th 2013


5107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

man i will put you up for free and take you to see some really cool shows

bloomington has all kinds of awesome bands stopping on tour all the time. and there is great local music almost every night of the week

Owantjaaaa
April 20th 2013


3403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I always forget to listen to this record in its entirety

Digging: Sick/Tired - Dissolution

WeepingBanana
April 20th 2013


10217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fuck yes this album rules finally a good review for it

carouse
April 21st 2013


334 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for reading, everyone.

WeepingBanana
April 21st 2013


10217 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST I SHALL BE RELEASED

DirEnRefused
May 10th 2013


2241 Comments


What the fuck, this is awesome.

MrElmo
May 10th 2013


1955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I AM WROOOONNNNNNNNNNG



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