Thursday, April 5, 2012


s/t 7"

Don Giovanni Records [2012]

If you ask me, there's not enough spooky girl rock in the world, (if there can ever actually be enough) which is why I was so intrigued by this record. Noun, long-time solo project of Screaming Females centerpiece Marissa Paternoster, is a successfully bizarre concoction of cloak & dagger twang, cautious pop, and bad dreams. Marissa is joined on this recording by Hunchback alum Miranda Taylor, whose sparse drum-work and vocal harmonies make pitch-perfect additions. "I Don't Love Anybody" and "I Need Someone to Lean On" are the conflictingly titled tracks adorning side A - the first being a plucky and haunting girl-and-her-guitar piece sporting the unmistakable feel of home recording, and the latter a bright contrast full of strums, chugs and Ms. Paternoster's trademark warble. The flipside begins with "Space Inside" where the urge to shred can no longer be contained, though it exists in the filter of darkness and reverb that Noun has created. "Grave", the awkwardly upbeat closer, continues the shredding and best displays how well these two vocalists work together Two very distinct, heavy influences strike me while listening to Noun. One being the glory days of L.A. punk - there's a generous dose of X, Gun Club, and other forgotten creepy bands brandishing ironic crosses crawling out of alleyways to record their one and only Slash hit, then back into obscurity. Even more than seminal L.A. however, I'm hit with one name: Quix*O*Tic, the folky, punchy, and brilliant long-defunct D.C. group helmed by the Billotte sisters, which may be a reference out of left field, but I can promise it's dead on. Early Slumber Party and some inspirational K Records acts also come to mind, but in the interest of not berating my point to death I'll simply say that if you like female-fronted punk with a sinister tinge and an uncommon approach, you'll like Noun.

-Brian Muirhead

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