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Taking a Listen

by Heather MacIntyre

The Nondenoms — Persistent

Way oh, way oh, way oh! Who cares what people say, punk is not dead. It’s just on hiatus in most of suburban America — banned to fumed garages, late-night house shows and crappy back-alley venues. But as long as it’s still being played, and albums like this are being put out, I will never lose hope. Persistent is a well-balanced mix of all that is grunge, yet produced in a neatly modern format for the thrash-craving yet evolved ear that is used to clean recordings of today’s releases. But don’t consider good studio time and hard work to be a sign of “selling out” — there is plenty of “oi” to go around for this Triad trio. In addition to a killer bass solo in the track “The King of Bitterness,” Kelly Bangs’ vocals resemble Waking Ophelia’s Stephanie O’Dougherty… if O’Dougherty did harmonies and back-up only, with a little less smoke in her throat. Lead vocalist Kid Goldstein hits the noise right where it’s needed: the right rasp, bitter tone and fast lyrics about growing up, sitting on the fence, the dusty road of life. I don’t usually mention much about album artwork, but flipping through will definitely give you some nostalgia, circa 1998. Rock it if you wanted the Offspring to go punk-rock, or if you just want some music to match your carefree, summer party brattitude of staying up all night and sleeping all day. I doubt they’re even interested, let alone know, that their album was even reviewed. Go to their show Saturday at the Soundvent (www.myspace.com/thesoundvent) in Thomasville, and bring them a copy of this paper. While you’re there, pick up the album, too.

Rating: 4.0 records (out of 5)

www.Myspace.com/nondenoms | www.nondenoms.com

S. Burns — Meanwhile At The Burn Pile

There isn’t much to specifically complain about in this album. It’s an adequate mix of obvious influences from infamous bands throughout the late ’80s and early ’90s unlimited to Nirvana and the Pixies. Some tracks drag a little on the darker side, one rather Codeseven-ish… while others possess a real Southern rock feel that comes out of what seems like nowhere. If consistency bores you, you might want to pick this up. I really appreciate the drumming of Seth Oldham; the rhythm really seems to be the solid backbone of so many of the tracks. Though, the mellower music movement might be a little too slow (in pulse and repetition), but they make for good kickback tunes. Front man/guitarist Brandon Adams has a pretty soothing voice when he isn’t yelling. It’s rather obvious as you are listening that a conclusion sits in your headphones: This music is more favorable live instead of streaming as steady waves through speakers. The album can be purchased already through the artist’s MySpace online for a very reasonable price, so take your chance to support local music. Looking for something to do this weekend less punk than the Nondenoms? S. Burns will be at Somewhere Else Tavern (www.myspace.com/somewhereelsetavern) on the same night in Greensboro.

Rating: 2.5 (out of 5)

www.Myspace.com/sburns | www.sburnsband.com

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