None More Black - File Under Black (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

None More Black

File Under Black (2003)

Fat Wreck Chords

Have you ever had feelings so mixed that the strain of those feelings threatened to tear your very world apart? Have you ever endured the pain of writing about a record that left you neither glowing nor deriding about it?

(This opening is my attempt to bid for the kind of gee-whiz legitimacy and flowery prose that is usually reserved for British music magazines, but I probably won't be able to keep it up for long)

In any case, while you probably are loathe to admit it, you're asking if this is anything like Kid Dynamite; that perfect, raw, unspoiled blend of punk and hardcore that seems to exist in spite of all the watered down, tight-pants and v-neck indie rock that was passing itself off as punk?

Nope. No. No way. Sorry. Next.

The only thing this has in common with Kid Dynamite is the positively amazing vocals of Jason Sevechuck; a voice so damn good they could save almost any band. They save this one.

The opening triumverate of tracks is just huge, "Everyday Balloons", "Dinner's for Suckers" and "The Ratio of People to Cake" are punk rock in the classical sense. It's not post- anything. Just loud guitars, melodies and zero pretension. Not too fast as to conjure up memories of previous endeavours, nor too slow to make people wonder what's wrong. Just great songs, and if the band had kept it up for the entire length of the record, you'd have a truly impressive debut.

The next track "Never Heard of Corduroy" has more in common with the rest of the record. It ventures into a slower, more unique sound; conjuring up memories of the Lawrence Arms. But as the record continues, it seems that something is definitely wrong in New Jersey.

The songs are good, but something seems to have sucked the life out of this band. Everything just sounds tired, like the band went full throttle into the opening songs and slept through the last bunch. It might seem like an abstract complaint, but if you give the record a listen, I think you might agree.

These are good songs; catchy and well-performed. The lack of energy though seems to be bleeding into my writing, as after it was over, I felt more apathetic about the record than raving. I would recommend giving it a listen, because there are some great things going on, and somehow I just know they will just blow people away live, because an injection of energy into this record would make it a hell of a lot better.