Viza-Noir is definitely mining the early-80s postpunk that has become fashionable of late, most notably on some of last year’s Interpol album. No Record is a bit more rough around the edges, though: more rock than new wave (think Wire, Mission of Burma, Joy Division I even hear some Midnight Oil in the vocals), and tinged with some of the arty time signatures and musicianship of late indie rock. The band is tight, the attack is direct, and the songs are solid: “Luge Me” and “She’s a Machine” bolt along at a rapid-fire pace, steadily anchored by Joe Kaplan’s drum kit, while “The Claw Machine” and “Snowflake Crystal Motel” offer some contemplative instrumentals to break up the proceedings. The standout is the title track, built around a rumbling minor-key bass line that gives way to a killer clarion-call chorus with harmonies by of craftsmanship while not forsaking what gained them an audience in the first place: catchy-as-mono hooks and the same sunshine state arrangements that made Pet Sounds the legend it is. “Landslide Baby” is a masterpiece while “Fooled with the Wrong Guy” is a sonic dream.
Recent interviews have Miles Kurosky stating he may never write another record, preferring to hang it up before he makes a bad one. He just made the record of his life. Don’t you think he’d like to try again now that he knows it’s possible?
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