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Noi!se (street punk) release music video for “Pawn In The Game”

I’m a big fan of street punk.  I run Dying Scene so obviously I’m familiar with the band name Noi!se but even I can’t figure out how the hell I didn’t realize how awesome this band was until literally 10 minutes ago.  The Tacoma based foursome just released a music video for their song “Pawn In The Game” and it is hands down the best “new” punk song I’ve heard in months.  Check it out below.

The tune appears on the band’s most recent full-length, The Scars We Hide, released last September on GMM Records.

Album Review: Noi!se – “The Scars We Hide”

With a bevy of 7” singles, EP’s and a compilation album under their belts, not to mention their almost ceaseless touring schedule, it’s hard to believe that The Scars We Hide is Noi!se’s first proper full length. The Seattle (Tacoma) foursome have made a mighty imprint on the punk scene the past few years considering they’re more or less just getting started. With loyal fans among their peers as well as in the general public, Noi!se is fast becoming one of the more exciting bands in the scene to keep an eye on.

The Scars We Hide is twelve songs of blistering punk rock power with a sharp melodic sensibility and some of their tightest arrangements we’ve heard from the boys thus far.

This band has established a precedent of beginning their releases in a big way. One of Noi!se’s best songs, ‘Rising Tide’, kicks off the EP of the same name, while another one of their best songs, ‘Idle Action’, kicks off the compilation release Pushing On, from 2012. In the same way, The Scars We Hide’s first song, ‘Rank and File’ is another of the band’s best compositions, with a simple bass line feeding into a frenzy of crushing guitars (both rhythm and lead), before (vocalist/bassist) Matt’s easily identifiable vocals introduce us to the record. 
The song features the bands trademark gang vocal’d chorus’ and blistering guitar breaks.

This is a blueprint the band follow throughout the album, keeping things at an absolutely breakneck pace, with Matt and (guitarist/vocalist) Nate trading verses back and forth, with each succeeding delivery more aggressively impassioned than the last.

Drummer Kenny and lead guitarist Jesse round out the band nicely, not only with the addition of their voices to the fat, delicious chorus’, but with their raw talent. The drumming is particularly impressive on tracks like ‘Silenced Voices’, an anthemic rave up that makes one want to find the nearest mosh pit and start slamming bodies. As well as closing track ‘The Future’s Warning’. Take it from someone who hit skins in a punk band years ago, it isn’t always an easy genre to drum to. Jesse’s guitar is evident and front and centre in nearly every track on Scars, with particularly memorable appearances in the impossibly catchy ‘Pawn in the Game’ and the crusher ‘So I Drift Away’.

Elsewhere, ‘How We Made It Through’ is a great song about coming through the shit, living to tell the tale and rather than letting it get the best of you, choosing instead to craft a more meaningful existence from it. While ‘Statistics’ impressively charges from nail gun Agnostic Front-like hardcore in its verses to catchy The Business-like street punk in its chorus’.

Street Punk/Oi! music isn’t the most inventive subgenre in punk rock, but it is among the most exciting. A genre born in the streets of the U.K., it has had a steady and ever growing batch of impressive North American bands flying its flag since the 80’s. Noi!se impressively straddles the line between being a band that sound like the best of classic 80’s Oi! music, mixed with the sensibilities and gritty sheen of today’s street punk elite. They’re hands down one of the best bands in punk rock right now and The Scars We Hide is not only their finest moment, but may be the best punk rock record of 2014 so far. A record my needle will be licking the grooves of on an almost consistent basis for the foreseeable future.

Noi!se is a band that makes me want to drop everything and start a punk band of my own again. And what higher praise can you give a group than that?

5/5 Stars

Noi!se releases music video for “How We Made It Through”

Tacoma, Washington’s 4-piece street punk band, Noi!se, have released a video for their new song, “How We Made It Through.”  Check it out below.

This song will be featured on the oi! band’s upcoming release, The Scars We Hide, on GMM Records.   Their most recent release was 2013’s Rising Tide.  

Album Review: Noi!se – “Rising Tide”

Even without the Oi! spelling in the middle of their name I’m going to go out on a limb and say you would still know Noi!se is an Oi! band. Direct descendants of the genre’s (mostly) English godfathers like Cockney Rejects, Blitz and Cock Sparrer, among many, many others.

The great thing about Noi!se is, although there is a huge crop of top notch bands who keep the Dock Martins, skinny suspenders and shaved head flame alight, Noi!se is among the most sincere, the most educated in their field of musical expertise and they write some of the best songs the genre has heard in decades.

Releasing a handful of EP’s and 7”’s over the last few years, last year’s collection “Pushing On” collected all of their work thus far and added a few bonus’ to it, notably the hard charging five minute opus “Idle Action.”

When the band announced their follow up to “Pushing On” their ever growing base of fans around the world began to salivate.

The word Oi! as a genre descriptor can be attributed most identifiably to the band Cockney Rejects out of the once infamous East End of London. An early 80’s punk band who took what The Clash, The Sex Pistols and The Jam were doing around town (and later around the world) and making it heavier, tougher and substituting the anarcho- political lyrical content with homegrown tales of life as an outcast on the streets. Drinking in pubs with your mates, fighting fans of opposing football (soccer if you’re North American) clubs and trying to eek out an existence on the dole or working a thankless job that paid pennies.

The actual term was coined by journalist Garry Bushell after he took notice to the fact that while playing live, before every song the Cockney Rejects would introduce it by grabbing the attention of the crowd with a hearty ‘oi!’ And thus a musical subgenre was born.

For many years Oi! music was strictly a product of the U.K., but as the music began to take hold and spread across the Atlantic, North American factions began popping up out of the gritty, big city streets, not to mention the influence those original English Oi! bands had on some of punk’s future leaders like Rancid and Dropkick Murphys. In fact, Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen did a tour of duty in Oi! godfathers the U.K. Subs before joining Rancid (he now also front’s the American Oi! revivalists The Old Firm Casuals) and the Murphys’ Al Barr was the singer of Boston Oi!/street punk combo The Bruiser’s (check them out) before stepping into Mike McColgan’s shoes to fill the spot he left in that band to pursue firefighting (he now front’s the Street Dogs).

Whether it be the fashion’s, the stories or the music itself, all of North America’s Oi! bands pay a huge debt in their presentation of it to those original United Kingdom sects. Many of the singer’s even seem to adopt a bit of cockney in their delivery when on the mic.

Such is the case with Noi!se’s dual singing force Matt and Nate. Stylistically, the two crooners are akin to Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, particularly on that band’s eponymous 1993 debut, before Frederiksen joined the ranks. Noi!se’s Matt, like Armstrong, has a more controlled delivery. Spitting nails in key and providing a more digestible listening experience while Nate, like Freeman, has a much rougher and grittier vocal style, more unrefined. Assaulting the ear drums with a swift Doc Martin to the ribs. They both bring their own flavor to the songs that work in different ways, though I must say I prefer, as I do Armstrong’s, Matt’s voice to Nate’s.

“Rising Tide” took a long time to get from the recording to the releasing stage, getting lost in the ether that is pressing records for small, specialist record labels. Sometimes that means the band is at the mercy of the company cutting the vinyl and that can mean the cutter’s get to it when they get to it and then hope everything comes out sounding the way its supposed to. It’s a frustrating reality for band’s who don’t have a million bucks to spend on their releases.

I have to admit though, when the record finally made it into my grubby paws, I was a little disappointed at the goodies held within. Song-wise, this record is chock full of great content. Seven songs of tight, blisteringly catchy street punk that clock in in just under twenty minutes. That’s great for people who have never heard the band before or don’t own any of their previous releases. For the initiated however, we’ve already heard a few of these songs;

“Brothers In Arms” and “Blame” can be found on the EP’s “This Is Who We Are” and “Walk Beside Us,” respectively, as well as the “Pushing On” collection and “On The Outside” is an acoustic version of a song also found on previous releases. To be fair though, the songs have been re-recorded for “Rising Tide” and sound better here than they did on the earlier records, but when all you’re getting is seven songs from a band you hold your breath awaiting the next release from, it’s hard not to feel a little let down when some of them are repeats.

Still, that means four brand new songs, at least one of which, “Rising Tide,” the song for which the record is named, is the band’s best song yet and one of the best punk songs, of any subgenre, I’ve heard in a long, long time. The song feels like the culmination of the natural songwriting progression of a band that just keeps getting better and better with every passing year. The hooks are catchier, the lyrics are more sophisticated, the structure is airtight. In fact, the song itself is almost worth the price of the whole shebang in and of itself. So if you look at it that way, as a maxi-single, this is a great deal. A song hot enough to melt steel with six extra rave ups tacked on the back end, how can you go wrong? The record is still over way too soon, thank God then for the ‘repeat all’ button.

All in all there are now a total of 19 Noi!se tracks to bang your bald head to out there on the airwaves. More than enough to tide us over till the next, and hopefully beefier (in song number) release from these Tacoma, Washington Oi!sters.