Some bands revel in eclecticism. That wish to fuse and forge new sounds and genres together with every new track they pen so that they are musically a diffused and diverse beast. Then there are bands with clear and recognizable signature sounds. Bands such as The Ramones, Suicide, or Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Bands you know will deliver along tried and tested lines—bands who find the one thing they want to do and do it better than everyone else. No Serial Killer is such a band.

The last time I wrote about the band, their eponymous album was already a comprehensive affair, Now it is more an archive than an album, with over 100 tracks, some intros and fragments, some remixes and alternative versions, but mainly songs featuring audacious use of affected piano to drive the bass end of the music, sweet and controlled vocals and their own, signature alt-pop meets rock and roll sound.

Their new addition to this large and impressive sonic body comes in the form of Yes, a spacious, beat-driven track dressed with walking blues no-bass basslines, waves and washes of supple and subtle strings and, dancing gracefully along the top, a vocal line that reminds me, in part at least of the clarity and cadence of Stereolab’s Lætitia Sadier, which is a pretty high benchmark in my book. It has a sort of 50’s do-wop innocence but is also firmly planted in the sound of the here and now.

Track Two (Sami Rocks Extended) is a reimagination of Yes, dressed in raucous garage rock guitar, which balances perfectly with the cascades of the delicate piano with which it shares focus. These two dynamic forces add an exciting edge to this take on the song, enabling No Serial Killer to work a fine line between incendiary guitar sounds and sweeter, more commercial, yet classical climes. Between lounge jazz finesse and heavier and more attitude-driven urges. Or, put another way, between pop and a hard place.

If you are fed up with the formula of pop, the lack of adventure in rock, the elitism of jazz or classical, and the relatability of rap or hip-hop, then that is when you need to turn to a band like No Serial Killer. With an array of songs behind them this large and this smart, it is statistically impossible that you won’t find something new to love.

Also part of this recent package is the video for I Luv Myself, another great blend of rhythmic, bottom-end piano and sassy rock and roll licks with the now trademark pop-esque vocals running across the top. Another interesting and effective blend of genres and a demonstration of how to kick down sonic barriers. And the video itself is a cool clip package, a collection of short, sharp and shocking horror-themed frames, B-movie images, fast-footage and fleeting genre references which come at the watcher like a tsunami of dark cinema. All of which seals the underlying vibe and thematic image of No Serial Killer.

 

 

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Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.

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