Nomeansno - All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt (2006)


Before sliding All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt into my computer, I knew two things about Nomeansno: (1) they're Canadian, and (2) they're old as hell. In fact, they've been a band since 1979, longer than many readers have been alive. What I didn't know about them was that they are an incredibly strange, sometimes disturbing, but above all talented group of musicians.

Overall, the musicianship reminded me a lot of Double Nickels on the Dime-era Minutemen. Odd timing on the drums along with bouncing, ballsy basslines create some of the most interesting rhythms this side of the Blood Brothers. There are some seriously catchy numbers on All Roads, such as "Slugs Are Burning," "'Til I Die," and the secret bonus track, apparently titled "The Future Is the Past" according to iTunes. The majority of the vocals from brothers Rob and John Wright are strong (almost operatic), but can get a little old after a few listens.

The lyrics also often leave something to be desired, dipping into Dwarves-style weirdness in lines such as "Let's take turns molesting the children / I'm so bored with my life / Yes let's take turns molesting the children / Then I'll go home to my wife" on the song, "Mondo Nihilissimo 2000." In fact, they reference child molestation twice on the disc in addition to their minor college radio hit, "Dad" from the album Sex Mad. However, Nomeansno is right on the mark with "The Hawk Killed the Punk," a testament to fashion's domination of individualism in the modern punk scene.

For those used to straightforward, 4/4 punk rock, All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt will take some getting used to. Their unorthodox approach is nearly one of a kind in punk these days, but is surely worth taking a listen. It's certainly no masterpiece, but it effectively demonstrates that punk rock is no one-trick pony, and neither is Nomeansno.