Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nonagon-The Last Hydronaut EP (Controlled Burn, 2013)

I haven't heard a band so thoroughly from and of Chicago since the much-missed Loose Dudes. Nonagon operates on the direct opposite spectrum of punk from the Dudes, but if you've spent any amount of time in my home town you'll know what I'm talking about.

Nonagon features ex-members from a slew of bands well-loved in Chicago and virtually unknown outside it. That's typical of the city's best, since fundamentally Chicago is a big city with nothing around it for about a thousand miles in either direction.* Bands here either make music because they love it, or more to towns like LA or NYC and develop bad attitudes and the  coke habits to go with 'em.

Nonagon plays the sort of contorted, long-form post-punk initially popularized(?) by bands like Jesus Lizard,  etc. etc. You know the sound: plaintive/snide singing, strange time changes, and pummeling drums mixed in the front. Bass lines chiseled enough to cut granite. And so forth. Most cities killed off this end of their scene back in the mid-90s but Chicagoans are still at it. It's what happens when literate punks get tired of sheer noise but don't wanna end up sounding late-period Husker Du, either.

You either love this music or don't understand why anyone plays it. It's not my favorite sorta noise, but I love every instinct that leads people to play it.

So check out Nonagon here, then BUY THEIR FUCKING EP, DUDE!

*I might make exceptions for Detroit & Cleveland, but fuck you, St. Louis! As the Necros said, IQ 32, Midwest, fuck you.

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