Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nomos/The Men Split Tape

Six songs straight from two of Brooklyn's finest acts right now, split right down the middle between Nomos and The Men. Each group delivers two fresh tracks along with a classic punk rock cover for everyone's listening enjoyment. The packaging on these is fairly appealing as well, including red pro printed tapes, j-card with artwork on front and back, topped off with a double sided fold out with lyrics (for only the Nomos side) and gritty black and white photos.

My initial reaction is to the distinct change in Nomos' sound, both musically and vocally, which at first didn't seem comparable to the demo that blew me away on the first couple listens. The similar dark nature and lyrical themes are still there, but the overall sound appears to be heading in a different direction from the more straightforward approach to the demo, and deeper into noisy hardcore. Each song pummels away at a similar pace, while the guitars and drums pulsate together, combined with lower, raw barking vocals to round out their style, which is still growing on me each time through this tape.

Just when Nomos are at their evilest, darkest sound yet, they launch into a jaw-dropping cover of Black Flag's "Nothing Left Inside." This is seriously one of the better covers I've heard in a long time, with the vocals and guitars squealing together in a manner so haunting the lyrics begin to drip with torment and anger.

The Men are always an interesting band, especially combined with Nomos, due to their unpolished, experimental sound. Their songs are much longer, lingering around the four minute mark, filled with heavy feedback, distortion, and shouting vocals that cement a complete wall of sound that threatens to wash you away with them. "Twist the Knife" is a fascinating, angry blast from The Men, which left me immediately wanting to hear more. I was even further surprised by the three-piece's ability to keep me interested through lengthy songs, while many bands tend to fall into the trap of droning on with boring filler material. Cap this all off with a surprisingly well done cover of The Breakaways "Walking Out On Love," and you've got a split tape that begins to reach the realm of "essential."

It's tough to choose a favorite here, although I'll ultimately give the edge to Nomos, with both sides holding their own in respectable fashion. There's plenty to explore musically on each side, and each band has a distinct, aggressive style that excites me for more. Vinyl Rites' copies are already sold out, but the bands had some on tour recently, although they're probably gone as well. This is another one that's pretty easy to locate for download though.

Vinyl Rites 
Nomos Blog
The Men Blog