ALBUM REVIEW - Nonn - XVII - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Nonn

RELEASE: XVII

RELEASE DATE: 7th December 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records

It would be very easy for us to categorise ‘NONN’ as being purely post-punk. In fact, I’ve read some recently furnished reviews of their music where the reviewer has pigeon holed the band into the aforementioned genre without so much as a mention of the multifaceted affiliations that the band have to the more modern or generic sonic specifications. Their brooding electronic soundscapes do indeed tap into that late 80’s post-punk gloom but they also pluck numerous influences from minimalistic electronica, EBM, darkwave, synth-punk and the alternative experimental side of the modern psych spectrum to mould and sculpt something altogether new sounding. When Stockholm’s Christian Eldefors (The Orange Revival) released his debut solo album as ‘NONN’ back in May 2017 we instantly viewed his style of music as forward thinking psych-punk. Minimalistic, atmospheric and brooding with a simmering melodic undercurrent of modern electronics that wowed us from the off. Now he has returned with his sophomore release aptly titled ‘XVII’. Joined by Hannes Nyling and Christian’s brother Alexander, the project has a heavier feel this time around, leaning more into the electronic side of the venture, apparently a bi-product of touring and playing the debut album live all over Europe. The album gets it’s full release on December 7th 2018 via those ever reliable folks over at Fuzz Club Records and is available to pre-order right now both digitally from fuzzclub.bandcamp.com or on lovely vinyl from fuzzclub.com

The album opens up with ‘Pray’, a dark, slow moving sonic behemoth that pulses on a wave of deep penetrating bass frequencies continuously circumnavigated by menacing lines of synth and and heady hypnotics. Its vocal lines glide and shimmer on top of that massive wave of fizzing electronics, collectively drenched in heavy reverberating atmospherics. Up next,  the albums lead track ‘Clear’ charges into the sonic arena steeped in typical post-punk flair. Repetitive sequenced percussion traverses a cascading bass line that plods along like some sequestered boot boy as those Cure-esque lines of guitar intertwine with subtle sweeps of synth to carefully envelope another impressive vocal take. Filled with deft nods of the proverbial cap to those early 80’s post-punk pioneers and with a firm injection of modern charm, ‘Clear’ is an album highlight. ‘Home’ sticks to the well worked formula of the preceding track with its melodic guitars straddling a great vocal performance that collectively rattles atop of sequenced drums and those throbbing swells of bass whilst ‘Believe’ ushers in a menacing slab of electro-psych with its booming bass frequencies and the repetitive thud of a bass drum. Swirling electronics stick to the vocal line as the track builds brilliantly alongside the twang of guitar and swathes of reverberation. Fizzing lines of sync arrive to break the monotony as the sequenced electronics are cranked and the sound gets all fuzzy. ‘Believe’ is immense, a modern day gem and another album highlight for me.

‘When’ arrives swirling inside a building instrumental drone. More akin to psych-punk, this track sticks to a more linear formula. Swirling vocalisations steeped in melodic reverb ride the deep throb of bass as the repetitive thud of a bass drum keeps a metronomic beat allowing fuzzed out electronics to ebb and flow at will, adding masses of atmosphere with each gluttonous rise. Mesmerising in its attack and with a sublime finale, ‘When’ is absolutely brilliant. Up next, ‘Hide’ morphs into 80’s theme tune territory with those fizzing synths and that punishing line of sequenced percussion. The vocal lines are fantastic here, twisted into something futuristic and run alongside a throbbing bass signature that magnifies them tenfold allowing the drums to skip and roll between each line of verse before finishing rather abruptly. The very Cure-esque sounding ‘Reach’ is steeped in melody. Vocally faultless, the accompanying drum pattern is immense and when the guitar arrives alongside those lines of synth the track instantly takes off. It’s another standout gem. Then albums penultimate piece entitled ‘Beyond’ arrives in a haze of bouncing electronics. Sequenced percussion is busily dancing underfoot as that repetitive bass line holds everything in place allowing fizzing lines of synth and subtle twangs of guitar to keep the tempo tight as the vocal line glides effortlessly overhead. Deeply entrancing, ‘Beyond’ is steeped in melody and another album highlight. ‘XVII’ closes out with the instrumental ‘Past’, a throbbing bass heavy piece with another repetitive bass heavy percussive assault. The twang of guitar rides fizzing lines of electronics that seem to build and build into one massive sonic wave, injecting sublime melody into that beautiful bass line until eventually opening up into something sounding akin to The Cure melding with the darker side of Massive Attack. It is utterly fantastic and brilliant ending to another impressive release.

5/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/nonnband

nonn.se/NONN

fuzzclub.bandcamp.com

fuzzclub.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, post-punk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  – Primal Radio –  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.