The Noisettes' full-length debut album What's The Time
Mr. Wolf?, produced by the trio of South Londoners, Shingai
Shoniwa (lead vocals, bass), Dan Smith (backing vocals,
guitar), and Jamie Morrison (drums), is a sonic brouha
of punk pandemonium, noize-rock crags, and wildcat vocal burlesques.
It's punk done with Britpop flash and fronted by a female vocalist/bass
guitarist. It's something that Iggy Pop's Stooges
may have never seen coming in the '70s, but here it is. The Noisettes
make solid punk with add-ons of club beats, noize-rock contortions,
jazz emotive vocals, '70s funk psychedelics, and blues-soul vibrations.
The music is very creative, from Shoniwa's vocal inflections to
the splits along the transitional phrases and the lobes in the
guitar and rhythmic arcs. The Noisettes have crafted their own
distinctive accents that are identifiable with the band from their
rumpus blow-outs to their easy going blues throttles. Their fluctuations
are emotive and were the catalyst for the band's debut EP The
Three Moods Of The Noisettes from last year. The latest release
What's The Time Mr. Wolf? builds on what they started with
last year's EP.
The punk propulsions on "Don't Give Up" have sepals
of fiery guitar thrusts and funk rhythms. Shoniwa's vocal execution
shows wild gymnastics. There is a burlesque quality in her singing
that gives the songs a stage performance vibe. It's a style she
acquired early on when she trained in London's musical theatres.
She parlayed those vocal skills into The Noisettes' music, giving
the lyrics a lively brogue and stylistic emphasis. Simultaneously,
guitarist Dan Smith was deeply influenced by his father who was
a blues guitarist. At 13 years old, Smith recalls on the band's
website how much he wanted to impress Led Zeppelin's
Jimmy Page with his playing after hearing his father's stories
about jamming with Page. It became Smith's motivational force
to pursue rock guitar. Drummer Jamie Morrison just always enjoyed
the animalistic play of pounding on the skins. It was his form
of expression and emotional release. According to his story, he
spent endless hours and days playing his drum kit and cultivating
his diverse rhythmic steps.
The funk-rock grooves of "Scratch Your Name" turn to
a finger snapping tempo on "The Count Of Monte Christo."
The acoustic guitars on "The Count" gradually pick up
into bursting chord vibrations, while Shoniwa's vocal keys accentuate
the notes with a likeness to vocal artisans Bjork and Grace
Jones. The flustering chambers on "Sister Rosetta"
have a Brit-pop hue and noize-rock sonorousness while Shoniwa's
vocals rip through the dance-punk movements. "Bridge To Canada"
is one of the catchiest tunes on the album with cruising rhythms.
The acid/club beats on "IWE" are excited by screaming
guitar contortions while the classic punk verses on "Nothing
To Dread" ride intermittently between neurotic and calming
verses. The soft blues tones of "Mind The Gap" are tensed
up into a noize-rock rumpus with steep splits along the transitions.
The soft blues-jazz number "Hierarchy" has flamingo-dolled
vocal inflections along lounging beats. The concentration is on
the vocal curls and timbres, crafting a youthful verve and vibrancy.
The final number "I Will Never Fall In Love Again" has
Dan Smith on lead vocals and Shoniwa on harmony vocals. The contrast
in their registers is complementary along the lullaby chords.
Shoniwa's showy vocals are somehow agreeable with Smith's casual
intonations and end the album with softly shivering chords.
The Noisettes developed a very creative mix of punk on their
debut album What's The Time Mr. Wolf?, taking influences
from burlesque vocalists and rock guitarists like Jimmy Page.
With aspects of blues, jazz, soul, and Britpop, The Noisettes
have created their own brogue of punk. It's like The Stooges in
its level of credibility but without sounding exactly like The
1. Don't Give Up
2. Scratch Your Name
3. The Count Of Monte Christo
4. Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit)
5. Bridge To Canada
7. Nothing To Dread
8. Mind The Gap
9. Cannot Even Break Free
11. I Will Never Fall In Love Again (Bonus Track)
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