No: Treating People Like They Don't Exist 12"
3rd 12" from this London hardcore band, and it's easily their best to date. For me, the centerpiece of No has always been the guitar-playing; if you've followed the UK hardcore scene of the past several years closely, you'll know Ralph's name from Sceptres, Satellites of Love, and DiE. He is a really fascinating guitar player--he has ways of putting together a riff that just boggle my mind--and No seems to be his band where he lets loose a torrent of ideas in frighteningly quick succession while the rest of the band does their best to keep up. Indeed, it's the rhythm section that's kept this band from being really through-the-roof amazing in the past; while the guitar-playing is almost hypnotic in its virtuosity, the rhythms were always a bit too stilted and dunka-dunka-sounding for my tastes. That has improved somewhat on this new 12", and there are even moments where No settle into something like a groove (like the great track "Run Dry" that closes the first side), but this is still very chaotic music from a rhythmic standpoint. And not that I haven't hyped up Ralph's guitar wizardry enough, but this record is really something else. You can tell that there are two guitar tracks on here that are slightly out of tune with one another (a distinctive technique he first deployed on the first DiE EP), and there's something about the dissonance of the two guitar tracks matched with the virtuosity of the actual playing that directly stimulates my musical pleasure center. At the end of the day No are quite cerebral--especially for hardcore--so I imagine that there will be plenty of people who just don't get this, but I think it is just staggeringly brilliant, and if you dig the type of forward-thinking hardcore put out by labels like La Vida Es Un Mus and Iron Lung I think there's a pretty good chance you will too.Tags: 10s hardcore punk recommended UK