N.O.T.A.: Live at the Crystal Pistol: CD

Goddamit, if this recently revived live None Of The Above demo (it came out originally in 1983 as a cassette) doesn’t sound as good as when I first heard their “Moscow” 7″ (and the title song’s on here). In many, many ways they’re in the same breath as Really Red, The Offenders, Die Kruezen, and Husker Du. Hard but not stupid. Noisy but not devoid of melody. Political, to be sure, but not locked or suffocating, not overwhelmingly didactic. That they did this in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the early ’80s makes it all the more impressive. The sound ain’t bad. It’s remastered off a four track. It’s slightly muffled, but there’s no squealing, few drop outs, and most importantly, the energy charges right out of the speakers, like you’re in the middle of a cowboy bar and Reagan’s the president. Now, if Rabid Cat or Unclean Records would just make the studio recordings available again, that would be fine thing, indeed.

 –todd (Crank)