In the age of short attention spans, an album that runs nineteen tracks is long to say the least. But fear not, faithful reader! Would we mention a nineteen track album and short attention span in the same sentence if there wasn’t a catch?
Like the first track aptly states, Stapler by Nopes is “Lean”. “Lean” meaning tight. “Lean” meaning no fat. Which in this case, save for one track that almost hits the four minute mark, means you’ll be hard pressed to find a song on here that passes the two minute mark. And that’s the beauty of this beast! Because there’s a flow and there’s development yet the tunes here don’t take six fucking minutes to get to the goddamn point.
But I digress.
What do Nopes sound like, you ask? Well, the short answer is to think of crust punk mixed with (the) Melvins’ and Butthole Surfers’ more experimental work. The long answer? Well, that’s where this review comes in.
“Lean” starts with these jangly happy-go-lucky guitar riffs that herald your typical summer Pop fare then goes off the rails as soon as Alex opens up his monstrous maw and this almost indecipherable scream comes out, effectively squashing any notion listeners may have had coming into this album. “Checkpoint” further confounds with a minute and a half Punk rager built on Gabe’s succinct drumming prowess which flows into the grooves of “Throwing Rocks” where Eagret gets to solo out with some Sonic Youth meets Shellac shreddy goodness.
“Part Time Greeter” lets vocalist Alex show off his keyboard skills on this quick out of this world ditty before “Exhaust Me” saunters in to usher in a rollicking good time of headbanging and noisemaking. Then “Take One” is an experiment in extreme noise and, if you listen hard enough, there’s a song somewhere in there within the cacophony.
“A Maze” bounces right back with some accessibility and “Ashby Bart” continues the trend with a sublime instrumental that threatens to become unhinged at any moment…which it does in the form of “Restless” with these screaming anthemic guitars, crashing drums, and Alex leading the charge like a demented ringleader. Cole’s bouncing bass rumbles along to lead off “You’ve Got A Frenemy” while “Presidents’ Day Telethon” adds some more electro weirdness to the proceedings.
And there’s still tracks to go, people!