Apparently Californian Noro has been in a thrash metal group called Survival as well as Static Thought who played here at Reading and Leeds Festival (which means we probably wouldn’t have liked em). Listening to tracks from his solo material such as Cut on his Bandcamp page it’s pretty weak hip-hop orientated stuff that’s just coming across to me as bland. It’s been necessary to try and find out where he is coming from though due to his new EP Vietnamm landing on my lap. There’s not much to go on here really at all as it is only 11 minutes long and not all the material on it could even be regarded as music.
Having gone from hardcore to hip-hop he is obviously trying to get back to his harder roots here and is describing this effort as “electro eccentric.” If by eccentric he means throwing random ideas about he has definitely done just that as this is so eclectic it really doesn’t give any sense of cohesion and is what can only be described as an incredibly frustrating listen and even a complete waste of time.
We start off with spoken word piece ’10 Minutes’ which is telling a brief soliloquy about being shot in the head. It’s the sort of tale that Rollins would tell on stage and have you gripped as he passionately delivers it over a 30 minute (at least) running time. It probably doesn’t help that it’s mumbled and then for some reason we get a loud brash barker introducing a wrestling match (actually sounds a bit like Jello Biafra) for reasons beyond me too. First song proper starts ‘In Love’ and true to form it’s upbeat and bouncy bordering on pop punk (which I hate) and reminiscent of the likes of The Bloodhound Gang I (who I detest). Yep it’s just the sort of vapid shite the kids go wild for at aforementioned festivals. Luckily it’s short like everything here. ‘Life Of Crime’ has a bit more grit and is not so posicore sounding, the main melody with lyric delivery sounds like Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking The Law’ done by Beavis and Butthead. There’s some eccentric (read wanky) guitar work before it suddenly downs tools. ‘Daywalker’ is more of a trippy styled noodler sounding like some 80’s electronic goth throwback with a bit of a space-rock feel from the electronic components. It’s not too bad and neither is final track ‘Yugen’ which chugs along in a plodding fashion with some vocal parts that remind a little at first of Julian Cope of all people.
Nothing on this achieves much at all or does anything to define itself or stick in the memory and to be honest I just am not sure what Noro is attempting here at all. Perhaps if he fleshes out ideas and gives everything a bit more substance he might be onto something. I guess time will tell although I must admit I am not keen to really check further efforts out on the strength of this.
You can have a listen yourself via the label link below although they seriously need to change the fact that they are saying this is a full 41 minutes length and charging 9.99 USD to buy it physically.
(3/10 Pete Woods)