When weighing up lesser known artists to write about, I’ve noticed that many of them share at least one of the following characteristics:
- They’re from Eastern Europe.
- They’re transgender.
- They’re furries.
Perhaps there’s some kind of algorithmic selection bias at work.
Certain genres – particularly dark wave and witch house – increasingly satisfy quality #1. So it was curious that, when I went looking into other genres; one of the most interesting acts I came across were from Ukraine.
Numero Nero bill themselves as that country’s ‘fastest and hottest punk rock band.’ Their latest album Late certainly backs up this claim. It also represents something of a nostalgia trip, as their work is indebted to early 2000s skate punk.
Aging CKY fans should feel at home here; though the appeal certainly won’t be limited to them. The lyrics are sung in English and, as opening track “Number One” demonstrates; Numero Nero know their way around rapid-fire riffs and pounding beats. Drummer “Bit” must get through a lot of skins.
I’m often shy about discussing punk because – at the risk of sounding like the crusty old man I am – a lot of it sounds the same to me. To be fair, the same could be said of witch house; but it’s my pet genre and I reserve my right to be a hypocrite.
Late doesn’t wear out its welcome though, and there are little flourishes which mix things up. “No Clue Why” and “Campfire” put me in mind of emocore bands like Funeral For A Friend. And while the overall formula is “play fast, play hard,” a track like “Friend” – which opens with a pretty, lilting guitar line – shows some greater creative potential.
“When She’s With Me” is definitely the standout track. It’s also the one which has convinced me to come back for more. While cast from the same mold; it feels more dynamic and ambitious. And its killer solo pushes it over the top.
Strictly speaking, Late isn’t for me. Except it is, and I’m grateful to Numero Nero for reminding me that I can get a lot out of something a little less…complicated.
You can find Numero Nero in these places: