For such a small city, Victoria, B.C. has provided plenty to punk rock. For the scum punks, there’s the Dayglo Abortions, for the hardcore kids, there’s the Neos, for the tepid mainstream popsters there’s, uh… Nelly Furtado… And for everyone else there’s Nomeansno. It’s been six years since the last time the Brothers Wright (and Tom Holliston) put out a record (the dark and depressing One) and after many rumors of the band calling it quits, we have a new one. And what a disc it is. All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt has done something quite remarkable in that it takes the many different sides of Nomeansno and balances them. Where as One was packed with the loooong, dirgy epics, this one seems to focus on the quirky, almost poppy side of the band. It’s almost as if their alter egos, The Hanson Brothers, snuck into the studio and laid some tracks down for Rob Wright to lay his twisted vocals over. There is some straight-up hardcore representation here that would fit in with their output on records such as Wrong and Sex Mad and had the overall power of Worldhood of the World (As Such). The lyrics have taken a turn for the twisted that I don’t think I’ve heard since 0+2=1. It’s a little less evil genius and a little more creepy brilliance, like that guy at work who no one likes to talk to because he makes the hairs on your neck stand up, except everything thing he says makes sense in a weird way. Some new water is charted here as well, as we hear the boys taking on some folk and gospel (NMN style) with fantastic results. All of this and still the best rhythm section EVER (go ahead; try to argue me on that one). To bring it down to one of those crappy review analogies that I’m so fond of: Nomeansno still sound like Devo and The Minutemen playing Battleship in Black Flag’s jamspace with Miles Davis and Dee Dee Ramone coaching.
–ty (AntAcid, www.antacidaudio.com)