Review – “(Part of the) Tour Tape” – No Aloha

reviewed by Jack Derricourt

No Aloha - No Aloha Tour Tape - cover

It took Tony Hawk skateboarding with a selfie stick into a San Diego Padres game for me to put this review together. The band formerly known as She’s has been reviewed by yours truly once before, but with a new name (No Aloha — give it up all you Breeders fans out there!) and a handful of firecrackin new songs, I had to tip my cap to these Montrealers once again.

Recorded as always with aplomb by drummer Marshall Vallaincourt, the new recordings are everything that’s good about gang vocals and swinging choruses. The tape takes you on a tour of its own, even if the title of the recordings refers to the fact that the cassette was the main bill of fair on the band’s recent cross-country voyage. The songs drive on and on, and the first three do a great job of kicking things off hard.

“All Eyes” is a beautiful mix of loud and quiet. The squealing guitar and surf rock beat that introduce the song give no hint of the wave that’s about to crash and break, leaving space for cooing back ups and introspective slacker vocals. This song raises every piece through complimentary structure: the final chorus, stuttering out the title with gritty determination, would not sound half as intense if it weren’t for those remarkably chill verses.

I’ve been looking forward to a studio version of “My Boyfriend’s the Devil” ever since I heard a live recording some time last year. This song kicks so much ass: it’s is so sprightly and intoxicating. Back in the summer, I saw a man doing drugged-out capoeira to this song, swinging and twisting his limbs in fixated glee. I was this close to joining in, tottering like a bruise-happy freak on the lonely dance floor. It’s that good. The guitar solo alone will have you replaying this track severally.

It’s always nice to get a Canadian history lesson, and the No Aloha guys were kind enough to introduce ignorant listeners to the Nils, a power punk band from Montreal in the 80s. The cover of “Fountains” on the Tour Tape is stellar, and takes an already heavy track and kicks up the speed and vocal delivery to create a tilt-o-whirl of guitar and drums. It ends up being just over one minute. Ho ho.

The Tour Tape has a lot to offer you springing, sweeping, gesticulating Canadian punk and garage fans out there. This kind of music doesn’t get made every day. Best lap it up now while the lapping’s good.

Top Track: “My Boyfriend’s the Devil”

Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) + *swoop*

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