Walking into Moles last Wednesday night felt like the collision of old and new worlds. On one hand normal gigging life with no social distancing and a full room ready to mosh at the drop of a heavy beat, on the other NO:IR with new tracks from their latest EP, ‘Are we really alive’! The band were pumped and happy to showcase their new songs for the first time in a live environment, but also mixed in a selection of the well-known and loved tracks which helped grow their strong fanbase. The track ‘Vanity’ was a highlight to the opening proceedings which raised the roof and set the tone for what to expect later in the gig.
I’ve got to say the newer EP songs are rawer, rougher, and with a new attitude of being assured that your new music is on point with a hint of heavier riffs and vibes running through all the record. Like a rumbling volcano spitting out and hardening new ground, NO:IR are on a strong footing and developing new land to explore their musical personal self.
The guys have stated in the past that they feel the new debut EP is a step up of everything they have delivered before, when you hear ‘Spineless’ and the great gig ending ‘Hollow’ there’s no way anyone can not admit that NO:IR are on new heights.
The best thing about NO:IR and their live performance is the fact that you know what you’re getting each and every time, you’ll experience a roaring fire of passion wrapped around a meaningful lyrical trip. A sense of expectation, hope, and willingness to let go and have fun was clearly painted over the walls of the well-known home of music in Bath at Moles tonight, the first live gig with no social distance in 18 months. There was a connection between fans and NO:IR a mutual grinding metal spirit, NO:IR ripping and roaring Metal from their instruments and the crowd bumping, jumping and moshing looking eye to eye willing each other on together.
We don’t normally add a link to where you can get your hands on a band’s music, but because this gig and EP has impressed us so much you won’t regret clicking the link and adding ‘Are We Really Alive?’ EP to your collection: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/2s701xVaKKPqkNppfmsq1F...
Merch Store: https://thebandnoir.bigcartel.com/...
Official Website: https://www.thebandnoir.com
The best experience you can have at a live gig is to enter a dark crowded mine of new music and discover a diamond in the rough for the first time, this time the diamond came in the form of the band Athena. It’s clear Athena completely understands their identity as a band and full of energy from first track to the last, you can also say before NO:IR stepped on stage and took centre stage and all the limelight Athena was at risk of stealing the show. Athena’s songs are relatable, the classy lyrics have a distinction of real-life experiences within and around the band, this type of monologuing the world around us give Athena a credibility bands can only dream of. Going into mid-August if you need a pick up, don’t need to look no further than the promised new single on the horizon ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, there was also a mixture of covers which raised the healthy early gig going crowd dancing and loving the return of live music.
Opening the evening’s entertainment was Cannibal Café, when watching and listening to them live you feel their trying a bit of everything and see what suits and belongs to them the most. Starting off strong and heavy, they then dropped into more rock guitar sing-along songs which the crowd who came down early really appreciated. At the end of the set Cannibal Café got into a great groove and tempo and the songs were polished and pushed well. Cannibal Café are going to be a very interesting band to keep an eye on and watch them develop into a really good band, which we know they have in their locker.
Written By Kess Anthony
There is no great secret that we at Off the Hook Music have been very impressed with NO:IR for a long time. It has been great pleasure to witness the natural progression this little band from Bath have managed over the last few years. We’ve also been waiting patiently for a new EP, and ‘Phantom’ is the promise of what is to come when we finally get to hear the upcoming EP ‘Are We Really Alive?’.
NO:IR have developed their re-imagination of the hugely influential Nu-Metal sound of the early 00’s, the new wave of NO:IR sound comes from blending hip-hop and dark pop vibes into the Nu-Metal roar and ‘Phantom’ aims to blend these styles perfectly together.
When presenting this track lead singer Evvi Davis explains, “The song is intuitive about who NO:IR is, and comparing the honesty in our music to the persona we have created as a band. NO:IR isn’t five individuals but one personality, blending elements of the individuals into one character. The song questions our authenticity, and the lyrics directly reflect where we are as a band.”
Opening with the rip roaring atmospheric energy of Nu-Metal, the ease with which NO:IR transitions from Metal to dark pop textures in the track is like the waves on a beach easily rushing forward and elegantly retreating in consistent rhythm. We’ve got to say the music is even better represented when watching the accompanied video which is a portrayal of Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’, together this is a raw and insightful gaze within the identity of NO:IR.
All together ‘Phantom’ is an exciting promise of what is to shortly come. Get ready for a polished rough and ready radio collection of songs. If you thought Nu-Metal had written it’s obituary then you're very much mistaken, NO:IR has lit that torch and breathed life back into the genre.
Written by Kess Anthony
NO:IR have returned to release their second single of the year after a positive response from their previous efforts. The confidence gained through this first release has led them to lay bare the band’s struggles with addiction and mental health. There is a comparison to be made between NO:IR and bands such as Stone Sour can be found, which is definitely a great compliment.
Erase:Me starts with haunting vocals from Sam Davies, and then transitions from the opening salvo and to warm up to the wall of sound when the rest of the band provides an earth shuddering volume from the guitars and drums at the same time the lyrics “Save me” are sang.
When listening to Erase: Me it’s quick and easy to realise that NO:IR have taken everything that was great about 90’s emo metal and added a touch of Hip-Hop which makes this band and track so current. Add the amount of layers which flow within the middle of the record and you can’t help but waiting to hear what is around the corner, which turns out to be the rip roaring finish that the song deserved.
With two fantastic singles this year, you can only hope and want for an EP to follow in the new year because NO:IR have found their sound and there’s a call for that sound to be heard!
Written by Kess Anthony
A green neon glow bathed Moles club on Wednesday night with an excitable atmosphere that something different was coming for the night’s music fans, with three bands showing why metal is alive and kicking in the city!
Back in the winter months earlier this year NO:IR tore up the stage at Metal for the Masses which blew away us at Off the Hook Music and this was made even more impressive when you learn the band was only formed in November 2018. We came back for a second taste of their sound as we feel there is plenty of potential in this roaring set up of Sam Davies, George Farley, Alex Roberts, Harrison Gazzard, and Jake Gazzard, and intend to do our best to document it.
With the dancefloor’s lights dimmed to a near pitch darkness the band pierced the through with their trademark neon green painted on the band members themselves to signal the event was here, NO:IR began with an instrumental intro of spikey guitar notes and heavy drum beats, a taster of what was to come.
Second track into NO:IR’s set and they unleashed ‘Modern Day Slaves’ which engulfed the crowd with heavy bass tones and demanding head dangling drums which battled for the supremacy over the lyrics, which are completely absorbing when the vocal performance is switching succinctly between screaming and rap singing. Then two songs later we had a complete change in direction with a cover of Gorillaz’s ‘Eastwood’, NO:IR dragged this record from its roots and poured metal all over it, creating a unique banger in it’s own right.
There was also time for a first hearing of a new song called ‘Placebo’ where the guitars take centre stage at the beginning setting a calmer environment for a softer key of vocals, but as you got comfortable with the new path NO:IR was walking down they tore out the place and stomped back to the soaring, screaming, and rap vocals which blended well with the heavier riffs and beats that came before. The crowd responded well with everyone in the venue applauding this new and interesting song.
‘Hive’ is a great record which the core fan base of the band has come to love, it is a track which highlights the bands lyrical talent and want to drive heavy alternative metal into the attention of any listeners they can get their hands on. NO:IR ended the show tonight with ‘Erase me’ which is the hardest track to sing but it feels like a fitting way to end the night, at the end of the track the excitement grew as there was one last mosh pit on offer which delighted the band and crowd in equal measure.
Tonight’s support acts where Lest we forget and Myst who both put on a good display of metal in two completely different ways which warmed up the crowd nicely for the appearance of NO:IR.
Written by Kess Anthony