No Choice - Anaesthetize This! Annihilate That! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

No Choice

Anaesthetize This! Annihilate That! (2008)

No Idea / Good Music for Good People

No Choice has been a band for 28 years, and they're still pissed. It's not so much their demeanor that's discouraging, but the fact that there's still injustices in the world to be pissed about that fuel this band's fiercely political stance on a wide array of issues. But then again, their dissent and displeasure with current events fuels their desire to create thoughtful, interesting punk rock on their new record, Anaesthetize This! Annihilate That!, so maybe it's not all bad, right?

Sonically, the band employs a number of different textures and song structures that keep this record interesting and entertaining, without sounding disjointed or forced. "Take That Up the Arse...and Party!", "Your Sport" and "Today We Ride" are all quick, hardcore-tinged affairs, not reinventing the wheel but putting yet another intense spin on it. There's a definite post-punk feel to tracks like "Viva Internationalist," the darker-toned "Pollute and Polarize" and the positively brooding "Control," a song anchored by an impressive bass line, jagged guitar soloing and crashing drums.

"I Know Your Best Move" is by far the poppiest song here, featuring some solid guitar playing and a driving foundation anchored by the gruff vocals of Gagz. The female backing vocals in the chorus provided by Bev of Lost Cherrees is a nice touch, and her voice appears again on the acoustic track "Gun," adding some much-needed depth.

No Choice tackle a number of topics on Anaesthetize This! Annihilate That!, and more often than not the lyrics are heartfelt, eloquent and engaging. Conformity and acquiescence are laid to waste on "Change" ("The limitations sold you, produced and patented without debate / cut capability, enforce domination, come repackaged as the welfare state") and the band stands up for women's rights on the aforementioned "I Know Your Best Move" ("Where profit margins are put on hold and inhibitions unfold / The woman's place's on her knees, for backslapping inebriation there is no fees") and "Your Sport," which decries the practice of hunting without ever getting too preachy ("Detached from the knowledge that all life is sacred / the hunt has no morals, all ages are catered / from master to farmhand to fox ripped to bits / their justification for murder, we dismiss").

Their conviction is admirable, considering how long they've been around and how easy it is to become jaded when seemingly no visible progress is being made. Anaesthetize This! Annihilate That! is an interesting listen and, coming from a guy who had never listened to No Choice before, would seem to be a fine starting point for anyone looking to get into the band.