On paper, Not On Tour, a four piece, female lead hardcore punk band who hail from Tel Aviv, Israel, doesn’t look like a band that I’d be into. I’m not usually into hardcore bands, Gorilla Biscuits and Bad Brains are among the few exceptions, but after checking out just one song on Not On Tour’s third album, “All This Time” I definitely wanted to hear more. You see, when I hear the term hardcore, I immediately think of bands like Madball, Warzone and Agnostic Front, bands with fast brutal music and aggressive, usually gravely vocals. It’s not that I hate that type of music; I like songs from all three of those bands but most of the time I want to hear something a little more melodic, definitely not pop-punk but something with a little more singing and a little less yelling.
The thing that caught my ear about Not On Tour is that they are a little bit of both worlds, viciousness and melody. On the music side, they play with about as much speed and fury as those previously mentioned bands and vocalist Sima spits fire with a ferocity that fits right in among the hardcore world but she can also sing and to me, that makes this disc stand out against most of the music of the genre. The only band that I can really think to draw a comparison to is one of my all-time favorite bands, Tilt. For those of you who don’t know, Tilt was a female fronted East Bay punk band who occasionally ventured into the realm of hardcore. Their singer, Cinder Block was also in a pretty good hardcore band called Retching Red.
Just like most of the bands in the hardcore world, the songs on “All This Time” are fast and short; the longest one is only a minute and forty four seconds, and a couple of them clock in at under a minute , hell the entire sixteen song cd only runs about twenty minutes. I usually don’t like really short songs, the majority of them feel unfinished to me but the songs on here are an exception. Not On Tour somehow manages to create very short pieces of music that feel like complete songs and that’s pretty cool.
With such a short run time it’s hard to pick my favorite songs on this disc but if I’ve got to pick some standouts I’m gonna say my favorites are “Oded”, a bouncy punkish song that seems to be about a guy that Sima likes. “Modern Slavery”, a hardcore track about hating work. And “The Question Came Up”, I’m not entirely sure what this song is about, there are a few lines about self doubt and the end seems to be about death but I can’t understand all of the words so the full story eluded me. Regardless, I like this one a lot, it has a 90’s punk feel and Sima really belts this one out. Go here http://notontour.bandcamp.com/album/all-this-time and check them out yourself, you could listen to half the album in the time it takes most people to read this review.
I give this album 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who likes the harder side of bands like The Distillers and Tilt.
An interesting fact about this band is that it was started as kind of a joke. Back in 2009 when all of the other bands in their area were out on tour, Sima (vocals), Gutzy (drums), Valer (guitar) and Nir (bass) got together, formed a band with the in joke name Not On Tour and started writing music. Originally they planned on writing some songs, putting together a few shows and calling it quits but after three years, three albums and a couple of European tours, they’re still going strong.
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