No Knuckle No Knuckle 12″

Staunchly DIY label Tomothy Records might be releasing things at a slow drip—this is only their fifth release in the two years they’ve been at it—but that’s what happens when you eschew modern conveniences like digital recording and mixing. Thankfully, they make up for a lack of quantity by making sure they’re only releasing some real good shit. Like this debut LP from Portland’s NO KNUCKLE—a trio of dudes who were all in blistering hardcore act GIMMICK, like, a few seconds ago. But this ain’t no hardcore! Actually, if there’s an immediate comparison point to make for this album, it’s eluding me. At times it sounds like GANG OF FOUR playing lite-prog, and at others it sounds like the COWBOYS covering DRIVE LIKE JEHU. Throughout the nine tracks on the record, you’re getting a somewhat baffling mix of dubby post-punk, noisy post-hardcore, straightforward punk, and arty proto-punk. But it all ends up fitting together pretty spectacularly, thanks in large part to an excellent vocal performance. Gage Maurie (who does pretty great stuff under his own name, but also fronted GIMMICK and FIB) sounds like a teen with a flair for drama trying his best to channel a mix of Ian Svenonious and Ian McCulloch. I love it. Listen to a track like “Adult Supervision” to hear what I’m talking about, then buy the record because it’s great!