Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Name Is What Is Your Name EP - Noah's Ark Was a Spaceship

My Name is What is Your Name EP

Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship
Slumber Party Records.

SCQ Rating: 72%

For anyone interested in what promises to be an evening of raw and deafening performances, cross April 26th off your ‘free’ calendar. Alongside several local bands, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship will be igniting Omaha’s The Slowdown in celebration of their debut My Name is What is Your Name EP. And for anyone who lives within two hundred miles of a Nebraskan border who claims to lack the cash or inclination to catch this show, you clearly haven’t heard the EP.

As well-versed in late 80s/early 90s indie-rock as their metal tendencies, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship unveil several rock-god influences through their raucous barnburners. Had Thurston Moore never moved to New York or met Kim Gordon, he might’ve written the tense guitars and screaming chorus of ‘Mood Swing Morale’; a track as moody and cerebral as aggressive rock gets. Their mastery of Sonic Youth tunings shows up again on instrumental ‘Reverse Effects in Jumping Jacks’ which, although lacking the group’s powerful vocals, remains an exploration fraught with open-ended guitar figures, pounding percussion and several interesting twists. The slacker-rhythms of ‘Wish You Weren’t Here’, on the other hand, evoke an ever-more dissonant Pavement with Andrew Gustafson (or is that John Svatos… for the life of me, I can’t find out who their vocalists are) singing, croaking and screaming to goosebump-approved effect.

Influences are well and good but they can’t disguise a band’s lack of originality… and Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship are too accomplished to directly borrow from any band, classic or obscure. ‘Adult Sized Skeletal’, a prime example of their sound, menaces through its verses like black-clad delinquents before blasting into a cymbal-crashing chorus while ‘The Coughing Show’ boasts their trademarks from a softer lens; guitars less abrasive, effect-laden vocals smoother and some curious sound-loops to fade out through. What I enjoy most about Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship is their impetus to harness the heavier aspects of rock – bordering on metal in some cases – and morphing it from the doom-oriented dread it often represents to something infectious and celebratory. These are defiant songs for landlocked souls, drinking songs for self-destruction. Craziest part of all is that My Name Is What Is Your Name EP will be sold for around the price of a beer at The Slowdown on the 26th. Lord I wish I lived in Nebraska sometimes…

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