Music

Nona: Through the Head

For longer term fans of Nona, well, it all boils down to this: do you want to pay all over again for a record you already bought last year?


Nona

Through the Head

Label: 6131
US Release Date: 2014-07-22
UK Release Date: 2014-07-22
Amazon
iTunes

This has got to be a first. You’ve heard of albums being remastered or remixed that are celebrating a 10th, 20th, 30th and so on, anniversary, just so fans can shell out money all over again for the same album with cleaned up sound. How about an album that was released ... last year? Nona’s Through the Head appeared in 2013, but it’s now being re-released with new cover art, a new label and a new sound: it was both remixed and remastered. So, um, that was fast. Whatever the reason behind the re-release, this Philadelphia-based trio rocks out with swinging ‘90s alt-rock abandon. And female vocals. Opening track “Now and Then” starts out as a swell amalgam of the Lemonheads and Superchunk, and then lead vocalist Mimi Gallagher opens her mouth. And you’re instantly transported to the land of twee.

Needless to say, Gallagher’s vocals are an acquired taste (there have been comparisons made between the band and that dog), but they tend to get better and more expressive as the album goes along. Or maybe you just get used to her pipes. Whatever’s going on there, at least Nona is a band with musical muscle. These 12 songs bristle with an infectious energy, and I saw a comment on Soundcloud comparing the band to a poor man’s version of the Breeders, which is slightly off the mark and slightly accurate at the same time. Happily, though, this is a record that doesn’t have a weak song, and simply just rocks out in the most pleasant way possible – in a ‘90s sort of way. You just have to get around the fact that Gallagher’s vocals might not be right for you, and that’s something that’s not going to get cleaned up no matter how much you remix or remaster this record. You’d probably have to re-record it with a different singer. Still, Through the Head is pretty sweet, in more than one way, and should expand the group’s core fanbase. For longer term fans of Nona, well, it all boils down to this: do you want to pay all over again for a record you already bought last year?

7

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image