Nought open their eponimous instrumental debut album with 'The Fans', which is a symphonic journey from Can-meets-Swans-like beginnings through jazz through into driving rock, constantly changing and mutating, avoiding the pompous flabby noodling of prog. , main composer James Sedwards, leading a band just like John Barry and Lalo Schifrin before him, directing the music from a much more classical structured direction. Sometimes with the strings it sounded very filmic, almost reminiscent of John Barry/Paul McCartney's 'Live and Let Die' soundtrack.'Nought I' * is MUCH heavier (and much shorter!)... riffola, like Metallica collaborating with The Propellerheads, again brilliant soundtrack tunes, but then we're into *'Cough Cap Kitty Cat' * which reminds me of Focus and Zappa, in that it really does musically take the piss. I Love the breakdown! Musically utter chaos, but attacking classical structures that have been pretty much left neglected by rock.'Redrag'* comes, again atonal and heavy riffing like a more sophisticated Shellac meets spiky incidental music a la Planet of The Apes....the attitude of Fugazi with the art of Glenn Branca...another classy atonal breakdown that builds almost like'Three Days' from Jane's Addiction..
'Goddess Awakes' opens with more stonking atonal riffery following a soundtrack style like' The Fans' did, beginning like John Barry getting Metallica and Nation of Ulysses to perform Stravinsky, with the Brass and strings adding to the filmic effect, and with Alex Pickard's phenomenal virtuoso drum performance injecting the whole thing with a dash of rhythmic PCP... an eery orchestrated breakdown.... suspense... then stripped right down to a single guitar over radio noise , an orchestrated pickup changing the mood into an uplifting one, then a few more solo eery notes on the guitar to let us know that the tension remains. *'Stain Stones' * almost sounds like 70's film incidental music, jazzy with lots of woodwind, like Henry Mancini...or so we think... 'cause a l'il atonal bass riff comes on in. and then some drums..and we're getting heavier like Sonic Youth... a weird Frippy guitar solo takes us firmly into Zappa territory, but the rhythm section always drives on and on.. 'All The Time Ha Ha' brings a more Cardiacs-like English feel to the proceedings, almost sounding like a sixties beat combo plus orchestra at times! Horror movie to action movie to The Italian Job.. we're on SUCH a trip with this record! With *'Heart Stops Twice' * we start back in Fugazi land, but it's soon off on orchestral Cardiacs daftness then a feedback bit and back to spooky rock with the ghosts of choristers floating over the top... a sitar makes a fairly surreal appearance..more spooky, more daftness... modulated feedback..... It becomes apparent why Peely loves this band. *'Nought II' *Sticks the heavy riffola of the second track back up our (by now reeling), consciousness for a short refrain, then the album comes to a close with the slow spiky feedback and rhythm intro of *'Ignatius' *power drill mayhem warning! Lorra lessons in guitar special FX here! Spiky and disjointed...the sort of thing that Elastica stole from...then some more heavy riffing almost like Faith No More to bring us to a close.
Nought come from the same arty Oxford scene that spawned Radiohead, indeed James used to play with the brothers' Greenwood in school, but where Radiohead's half-hearted attempts at artistic innovation come across as out of touch with the REAL boundaries( perhaps as a result of being a big commercial act), Nought really ARE at the cutting edge. This music takes all of the innovation of the 90's US underground and moves it all several steps forward in the only way it COULD go, while those US bands, and even newer bands like Queens of the Stone Age and 'Trail of Dead ...well they still walk around in the same circles, talking the same musical language. This is a demanding record to listen to, but it's worth it. The boundaries of Rock and Roll just got expanded once again....
10Chris Nettleton's Score