Format: 12-inch heavyweight vinyl in gatefold sleeve
Band(s): Nope (Leeds/Bradford)
Release date: 09 June 2014
Run: 500 copies (first 200 blue swirl vinyl)
Notes: Walker is the second album by Leeds/Bradford quartet NOPE, progressing the themes and aesthetic of 2012’s highly-praised debut Revision.
Featuring familiar faces from the North UK DIY/independent music scene - including Andy Abbott of That Fucking Tank, Jon Nash of Hookworms/Cowtown, and Steve Nuttall of Mucky Sailor - NOPE aim to exceed the sum of their parts with an expansive sound and vision. Nuttall and Nash’s dual drumming lays the foundation for Abbott’s relentless, cyclical riffing, which has been described with tongue in cheek as melding early Smashing Pumpkins, Neu and Status Quo. A new addition is Patrick Dowson’s second guitar, broadening the sonic pallet and freeing up the song structures to allow for more intricate melodies and a healthy dose of guitar solos.
Walker sees NOPE exploring the ground between fist-pumping alternative hard rock and hypnotic, kraut-influenced shoegaze to head banging, hip shaking effect. Framed around the 30-minute title track - which is split over two sides on the vinyl edition - Walker is a dynamic album where extended drone and ambient passages explode into violent stabs and stereo-guitar chugs, building to euphoric climaxes that recall leftfield electronica and techno. Abbott explains:
‘With this album we were able to spend a lot more time on composition. The half-hour track was commissioned by Recon festival for a collaboration with filmmaker Eoin Shea. This allowed us to approach the writing process in a more open-ended way and gave us a lot more time to experiment. We took Russell Hoban’s book Riddley Walker as a shared starting point, which also influenced the theme and look of our first album. The book has a desolate, oppressive feel but with an underlying uplifting, optimistic vibe which I hope we’ve managed to translate into the record.’
Shea also provides the artwork for the album with a set of awe-inspiring collages that wrap up the album in a gatefold sleeve, paying homage to the progressive rock and psychedelia of the 1970s that NOPE rejuvenate and advance.
Walker is a split release between Bradford’s Obscene Baby Auction and Audacious Art Experiment, two long-running DIY labels. Available in time for NOPE’s tour of the UK in June 2014. Details at www.justsaynope.co.uk.
1. The Event // 2. Walker (Part One)
3. Walker (Part Two) // 4. Television Fortune