new rock nellie: the HONULA album

Published: 2/1999

Last month we discovered young iMac rockers from the Northwest U.S. who make music the old fashioned way -- they burn it! Now it's time to focus on the nitty gritty and put their self-produced CD release "the HONULA album" through the microscope of objective review.

On the surface, this CD sounds like the standard fare of "not quite Seattle" grunge; but don't let that fool you -- there's other influence buried under the assumingly minimalist exterior.

Although it may not be a direct, intentional influence, there's definitely an underpinning of early eighties punk weaved throughout the rough exterior sound of this young three piece band. As to if the roughness and minimalist form is purposeful or just the limits of ability is irrelevant. One hopes that as time moves forward NRN's refinement doesn't force the loss of the uncertain magic that real rock and roll provides. I've often said that fun & sloppy is always better than technical and snotty.

Songs such as "Taco 'Bout It" and "Shit Fetish" put one in the mind of semi-unknown punk acts like the now defunct Mutant Fish or The Fux, of eighties near-fame; only without the verbal and physical abuse that came with that style of pop. Don't let the flagrant use of the word "punk" conjure up images of safety pins in the cheek and stage vomit. It's the sound and energy that I refer to, not the sick attitude.

The other thing standing out about NRN's CD is the humor. Young, irreverent and unapologetic. Many of the song titles beg our brains to wonder what the reference might be. "She Don't Get It" is one such song. In fact, I wish that one was little longer.

MR's advice to NRN is to stick with it. Try to stay friends and don't sweat the small stuff. If you stay true to what you want to play and keep your sense of humor, you'll do all right. You're doing everything right so far. Keep evolving without losing those things that make you stand out amongst the crowd.

Eventually, with a lot of persistence, someone with the power to make things really happen for your band will come along and will push you over the top or off a ledge. Resist attempts to make your sound or look "more like so-and-so." This will be an effort to capitalize on someone else's popularity and serves the record label more than it does the long-term success of your band.

MR's advice to everyone else: Buy NRN's CD, and maybe a T-Shirt. This to has much to do with the survival of a young, flourishing act.

Visit New Rock Nellie at their web site and tell them sent you!

Read January 1999 feature of NRN. Home Portal

© 1999, MacRocks - All Rights Reserved
"Rock Different!" and the MR logo are trademarks of Function 7 Productions and may not be used in any form without written permission.
All other Trademarks and Servicemarks contained within these pages are property of their respective holders.