Wednesday 28 November 2018

Workin' Man Noise Unit - It's Not Nothin' (Album Review)

Release date: November 23rd 2018. Label: Riot Season Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

It’s Not Nothin’ – Tracklisting

1.Opener 04:41
2.Transcranial 02:17
3.Turn It Off 02:47
4.Sloucher 02:18
5.Workin' Man's Blues 04:07
6.Holsten Thrills 03:15
7.Rathaus 04:19
8.Pink Roses 01:47
9.Sud Ripper 01:38
10.Springer 02:21
11.Become the Scum 04:54


Workin’ Man Noise Unit second full length album It’s Not Nothin’ takes a more punk rock approach compared to their debut album. The band still include elements of Heavy Rock, Psych, Stoner and Sludge Rock. However this album has more in touch with bands such as The Clash. This album may not be as easy-going as their debut album but underneath the punk vibes there is some top-notch Torche based melodies.

Workin’ Man Noise Unit are still signed to UK Label Riot Season Records and it’s a perfect match with for both parties. As I couldn’t really see Workin’ Man Noise Unit working at any other label than Riot Season. Riot Season Records have a great reputation releasing the weirder sounding Psych/Doom/Stoner Rock albums from bands you may not necessarily have heard of.

Anyway, back to the album review. Opening track – Opener – is a Punk Rock driven Sludge/Stoner Rock number with the band adding an anti-establishment feel to their music with a slight twinge of Prog Rock Weirdness. The Punk Rock vibe is very strong on this song with the vocals having a Joe Strumner feel to them. The mood is buoyant, angry, vibrant and fun which sets up the tone for the whole album.

Second song – Transcranial - has a fast-paced swirling psychedelic and manic rock energy with the band moving from the angry Punk Rock sounds and swirling Sludge/Stoner grooves. For a two minute song, the band include a lot of different ideas and sounds that complement each other superbly well.

Third song –Turn It Off – carries on the sound from the previous song with the band not letting up with their new-found Punk Rock approach. It’s another short-paced song which isn’t as compelling or convincing as the band try too many ideas that don’t come off as well as they should.

Fourth Song – Sloucher – is a much better song with the band focusing on the more psychedelic aspect on their music. This song is heavy with some epic riffs bursting out at the seams. The atmosphere is very lo-fi but that’s the overall charm of Workin’ Man Noise Unit’s music. The lyrics are direct and very much in your face.

Fifth song – Workin’ Man Blues – is one of the best songs on the album with the band playing a heavier Sludge/Stoner/Blues hybrid sound and it’s packed full of angry sounds from the start. The guitars are distorted at times but offer a true “Punk Rock” approach. The psychedelic/trippy elements of the song are what make everything standout and leave you wanting more.

The second half of the album carries on the experimental Punk/Psych/Stoner/Sludge Rock approach we’ve heard with the songs so far. The album does become a whole lot weirder and angrier as well with the band never sticking to the same style of music on certain songs. One of the songs – Holsten Thrills – has a more Garage Rock feel to it and it’s quite a thrilling song with superb lyrics to match.

Workin’ Man Noise Unit are perhaps more confident on the second half of the album or maybe the listener finally becomes accustomed to their very weird and heavy psychedelic sound. Whatever the reason is, this is where the album really starts to impress on every level with the production being first rate by holding everything together.

Standout songs on the second half include: Rathaus, Pink Roses, Springer and Become The Scum. It’s Not Nothin’ does have a wicked sense of humour contained within the lyrics. However it won’t be for everyone as much of the humour is mainly about everyday life living in the United Kingdom and that may be lost on some.

Overall, Workin’ Man Noise Unit have delivered a glorious and superb sounding album that will keep their established fan-base more than happy until they deliver their next record.

Words by Steve Howe