The return of Everett True | 35. Ye Nuns
I dunno. Sometimes man, I feel obsolete. This is from the press release.
On paper, Ye Nuns are a tribute band. An all-girl celebration of The Monks, proto-krautrock garage punkers formed by a gang of American GIs stationed in Germany who legendarily sported tonsures and nooses on stage. But Ye Nuns are more than a tribute band.
Formed by seven London ladies in 2006, Ye Nuns send witchy, six-part harmonies crashing over scratchy guitars, layer on evil fuzz bass and add pounding drums. Lead vocals screech and soar. Electric banjo hacks relentlessly. Vintage keyboard sounds stab. Yet it’s still music that puts grins on faces and gets feet moving.
In an arena where youth is often prized above talent, a band of seven women north of 40 is virtually unprecedented. Their experience and assured poise shines through on stage. There’s no need for faux-sexy posing or cute apologetic stylings. Members’ other bands include Curve, Mambo Taxi, Thee Headcoatees, Gay Dad, The A-Lines, Echobelly, Joanne Joanne, The Phantom Pregnancies and The Priscillas to name about one tenth.
Debut album Nun More Black grinds, grooves and assaults. Recorded in two days flat on old-fashioned tape at Gizzard studios, there are proper tunes, moments of astonishing avant-garde sonic assault and lashings of righteous ire. Which you can dance to. Again, Ye Nuns are more than a tribute band.
OK, y’ bastards. I’m not even going to bother expanding on that.
Just two questions arise:
1. Why would you bother listening to Ye Nuns when you can listen to Thee Monks? You might as well ask that of rock’n’roll in its entirety, certainly whole swathes of it. It’s fun. It’s energising. It connects you with the present-day. It tickles your tonsils. It butters your muffins. It’s toasty. It’s tempting. It sounds FUCKING BRILLIANT whichever way you wanna listen to it. Why listen to Oasis when you can listen to The Beatles? (Oh wait: bad argument. No. It’s a good argument.) Why listen to ANY male garage rock past 1963? (Better unanswered argument.) Why download Daft Punk for free? Most rock bands in 2014 are tribute bands in one form or another – indeed, plenty of established rock bands are tribute bands of themselves – they just ain’t very honest about it, realise there’s (a fraction) more money to be made, pretending that you didn’t lift your entire catalogue wholesale from The Velvet Underground (HELLO! Jesus and Mary Chain). It’s a fucking ridiculous question. Judge music on its own merits, not on your own preconceptions, your limitations. The second song here (‘Complication’) reminds me of La Mômo, and that is one helluva recommendation. The fourth song (‘Wie Du’) sounds like everything. So did the original.
2. Is it any good? Go fuck yourself asshole. Of course it fucken is. Why would I be featuring it here otherwise? It’s more punk than you, punk. Forget about the other junk. It’s brilliantly realised and, in being brilliantly realised, it puts everything else in perspective. It makes Can sound like Can. It makes The Fall sound like The Fall. It makes The Monks sound like The Monks. It trips me trigger, butters me daisies and sends me out sniffing into the long grass in search of A GOOD TIME. It makes Ye Nuns sound like Ye Nuns. Respect.
Whoa. Check that fucken banjo! I ain’t never heard one treated that way before.