by Matt Meade
Remember when you were in elementary school and you would stick your tongue on a 9v battery and when your tongue completed the circuit it would feel crazy and then you would do it again? Well, listening to this band is just as stupid an idea as licking a 9v battery. I also highly recommend both practices.
Unrestrained and ferocious, but also surprisingly complex, with sophisticated drum parts and unexpected rhythm shifts this is not your typical Anal Cunt-esque noisecore band. They borrow more from the shoegaze movement, Sonic Youth and Ride than they do from grindcore heroes like Napalm Death. MenoPaws sprinkle in enough breaks and silences to distinguish the musical ideas from one another. Instead of getting one big swatch of post-hardcore gray, they quiet down just enough for you to see all the shades of black vomit, white-puss and blood colored blood they are mixing together to get their sound.
There is a moment on the song “Goodbye,” a typically aggressive noise punk tune, where the guitars pull off a stadium rock, Muse sized soar. Their versatility surprises. The percussive cowbell and the tender moments between the razor wire screams can take you by surprise and it is that dynamism that distinguishes this band from other bands with names like, Scumbag Martini and The Sick Machetes.
On their debut, the final song, “Wasted Nights / Fin” starts with an insistent drum part, a nice guitar progression, and an even nicer lead, and it unfolds in typically punk rock ways. Then the song abruptly stops and a swirling piano phrase is played for two and a half stunning minutes. It’s the loudest moment on the record.
This punk, hardcore band from Jersey is willing to take it down, all the way down, to get their point across. This is a band who realizes that you can’t have loud without quiet. No fast without slow. No heartbreak without love. And it is this awareness that allows them to get away with the tempo changes, and the cross-genre experiments. Even the “I miss you,” piped through a bullhorn works.
“Chris’ Song” is an insane stop-start ditty of stupidly serrated riffs and cymbals so splashy they get the bass all wet. Their math rock influences show up to take the song into Slint territory by way of Mission to Burma. Like the child who twists his broken toys into new and bizarre creations, MenoPaws glue their song ideas together, opting to make 9 memorable songs instead of 20 forgettable ones. Each song has something new and hooky and weird to offer. Lucky for you, you can download their records from bandcamp in a pay what you want format.
Label: Unsigned as Fuck
Upcoming Show: 5 / 23 / 14 Trash Bar – Brooklyn, NY