The ingredients were all there to spark our intrigue and appetite; bass, drums and vocals only, power punk fuelled sounds and featuring members of outstanding Norwegian outfit Blood Command. Even so it did not stop Rude, Dumb & Anxious from hitting a previously undiscovered sweet spot.
The four track release is from the duo of Sigurd Haakaas and Yngve Andersen going by the name of Hot Nuns. Last year saw the pair release debut EP, Wrong Again, to a potent welcome which has similarly awaited the swiftly acclaimed Rude, Dumb & Anxious if on a larger scale. Though this second EP is our first moment with the band a love of encounters built on the rhythmic enterprise of bass and drums has been an instinctive pleasure nurtured by the likes of MoRkObOt, Big Business, Lightning Bolt, and Royal Blood. Thus a lurking appetite was awoken just by the thought of the make-up of Hot Nuns but still stopped in its tracks by the individual power and captivation of the band’s sound.
Rude, Dumb & Anxious begins with the instantly riveting Can’t Get Over You and closed by its even more compelling title track. The opener breaks silence with a plaintive voice within a calm caress of bass. Swiftly Haakaas’ beats are stamping authority on song and ears as bass riffs deliciously grumble and share just as embittered grooves. The melodic holler and subsequent swing of vocals are a contagion in their own right, together it all making for a song which dances with the listeners inhibitions as they flee the occasion whilst roaring with punk endeavour.
In a kind of contrast the final song controls its urgency for a pungent canter through ears but one again fuelled by virulent infectiousness. The melodies and harmonies in vocals tease yet calm the anxiety in the darkness of the track, a shadowed heart escalated by the mouth-watering growl of the bass, but as in the first song on the EP, it all raucously infests greed gathering ears and imagination.
In between the two major highlights, there is only additional goodness and clamorous pleasure. I Love You Still, I Always Will is another track hankering for love new or lost and also surges at the listener from its first breath, hooks and grooves an invasive trespass of creative fulfilment with an almost carnal hue to the glorious texture of the bass. Vocals once more soon recruit participation as the sounds work with a bouncing body, hungry punk and feral power pop united in one inescapable and addictive proposal.
The other song of the foursome is a great cover of The Boys classic, First Time. Just by their touch and slim down line-up of instruments Hot Nuns re-ignite the track whilst paying homage to its own original raw infectiousness; the song relishing the attitude and inventive muscle of the duo as it sits perfectly alongside the other trio of treats.
No frills and plenty of thrills Rude, Dumb & Anxious is a gem no rocker should pass by.
Rude, Dumb & Anxious is out now via Loyal Blood Records; available @ https://hotnuns.bandcamp.com/album/rude-dumb-anxious-ep
Pete RingMaster 11/05/2020