Friday 31 August 2012

NO - What's Your Name/Eleven Eleven

Single review by KevW

Just a few weeks back when reviewing the last release from Los Angeles alt-rock gang NO, I was given a stern ticking off on Twitter (hi Chris!) for comparing them to The National. Now this is understandable as bands and their fans are rarely keen on being compared to other groups, particularly contemporary ones. The only snag is, NO most definitely do have a hint of The National about their grand-scale US indie sound, plus they're likely to appeal to a similar demographic. Well, for Chris and other haters of The National, you'll be pleased to note that this double A-side single on the heroically consistent White Iris label sounds less like that bunch of New York-based Ohioans. But only a bit. This pair of songs could be their strongest yet and are almost certainly their most accessible - although that's not to say commercial - here the hooks are a bit more catchy and the tunes that bit more melodic.

The immediately likeable 'What's Your Name' is a pop song dressed up in a post-punk uniform and it's brilliantly anthemic. Not in a lighters aloft way, more in a press-repeat-lots-of-times way. This could, and should, be their best shot a breaking through the almost impenetrable forcefield between indie curiosity and revered alt-rock titans. We should at least be hoping for a few cracks to appear as some more adventurous radio stations pick up on it. 'Eleven Eleven' works similar magic, again catchy and big and self-assured, but never arrogant. On this single NO have proved once and for all that they deserve a seat at the top table of America's alternative rock scene. Still, you can't really listen to these songs without being reminded of Arcade Fire, The Gaslight Anthem, Interpol and The National though. Come on Twitter, do your worst.

NO's website

Buy the single

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