Listening to Djork is like getting bitchslapped by that chick with a nose ring and shaved scalp that’s still kind of hot anyway. It’ll wake you up in a hurry, but confuse you at the same time.
NOPES are described as a punk rock band from Oakland, CA, but I think there’s a bit more to them than that simple description. Punk is there for sure, but also tones of that screechy, skronky noise rock of the early ’90s, and even a dose of weirdness reminiscent of early VOIVOD. It’s loose, super raw, abrasive and sloppy, kind of like MC5 mixed with AmRep bands, and almost experimental strangeness. Not metal, but super noisy, and also super snarky, foul-mouthed and mean.
There’s 13 tracks here, with only the final ‘Synonym For Defeat’ being of any considerable length. There’s a fair amount of range….you get explosions of fast, weird rawness like ‘Pocket Square Motherfucker’, ‘Needle Swallow’ and ‘No Doze’ but also sludgy, dirty groovers like ‘Under The Leather’ and ‘Drink The Cat’, where the bass guitar is filthier than a pig sty. The vocalist has a kind of flat, snotty whine that works in small doses, but can also grate on your nerves if it goes on long enough, ‘Synonym For Defeat’ being a good example. The guy sounds like he hates the very sight of you.
Each tune has little quirks that make it different, like harmonica on ‘Reprieve’ or the drum and bass-dominated ‘Hihg’. Djork is one screwball trip through the noise punk world that you can generally say “Yep!” to.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality
Magnetic Eye Records
4 / 6