Brooklyn, NY quartet No Way formed in 2012, and Sing Praises is their debut four-song EP. It's quite fitting that they cite influences from The Stooges and The Jesus Lizard to Botch and Eyehategod, 'cause this is essentially 20-ish minutes of unexpectedly sludgy noise rock that inserts quick fits of feedback into ominous, pulsing midpaced rhythms that occasionally teeter on the harsher and more chaotic side. The vocals are a form of gruff yelling that's almost half-sung, and effortlessly sway farther in either direction as needed. It even kind of reminds me of the self-titled Clutch record from '95—just a little more aggressive and with more consistent songwriting.
Opening fairly straightforward with "The Cutting," "Shake the Meat" follows by introducing a slightly more rocked out angle to the riffing—tossing in a few post-hardcore textures for good measure. Things strip down a bit during portions of "War Dance," which also highlights some really cool vocal harmonies and starts to show off the group's gloomier side. Said gloom is perfected during the first half of eight-minute closer "Pasture/Abuela," which throws in some droning vocal effects and borderline "post-rock" guitar textures to varying degrees of intensity before settling back into more of a rocked out groove to finish things off.
Lyrics aren't included on Bandcamp, but judging from lines like, "Here's my hammer, please pull out your hammer, I want us both to bleed," they're probably a good fit for the dark edge of the music.
The production is nice and warm; dense to the point of feeling slightly muddy, but effectively so. The distortion's not hyper aggressive, so they're using that oppressive weight to create added heaviness and impact, and there's still a good amount of breathing room throughout. I dig it.
I can't speak but so intelligently about this genre, as "noise rock" is something that I've always been interested in, but haven't explored as thoroughly as I'd prefer. To my ears, No Way is doing a fine job of taking it in a slightly different direction, so I'm interested in hearing more from 'em. The cassette pressing is limited to 100 copies, so don't sleep if you're into physical releases...
- No Way (cassette/mp3)