Nomatrix are one of those bands that, through the relative isolation of Athlone, don’t quite have the profile of a feckless, horrible, city-based entity – Which is a damn shame really… They present well and have a musical output that has always been reliable. I’m pretty sure this band has been on and off and on and off (don’t worry, that doesn’t mean they’re anything to do with OnOff!) since their inception in 1997 and the material I’m most familiar with is the THROUGHPUT EP that came out on their own DeadLamb Record label in 2019. It was a fine record – compact in its delivery and punching in an admirable punk rock weight class.
This latest release is a split… a crusty old throwback format that gives me the fnuds, but they tackle it well with quality packaging, a decent insert, juicy red vinyl and striking cover illustration. These surface things probably shouldn’t matter to the overall aim, which is to present you, the listener, with a roundy piece of plastic containing glorious noise, but unfortunately they do – It’s a busy world out there in the independent underground and if your stuff looks like shit, don’t expect anyone to stop by and listen.
The first Nomatrix track, VANITY is wonderful – Anything that serves as a seething indictment of conceited online swagger and attention screaming is important work… And Nomatrix steer clear of artistic metaphor – This is frustrated, antisocial and to the point, as all fine punk rock should be. Think CH3 as a ballpark sound – that great strain of raw and formative ‘81-‘82 SoCal punk before anyone learned how to do orthodox rock’n’roll or cowpunk or sleaze metal. WEEKEND LIFE is a tirade against prescription social lifestyle, which I imagine is something well worth hiding from in Athlone. It’s in the same musical mode as VANITY but puts itself forward lyrically as an unapologetic mouthful, and the resentment that spawned it is obvious.
Future Hate from Mobile, AL, USA is a band I know nothing about. This has more of a screamy vibe to it. The second track in particular, Come In Waves (Naked Intruder) has a driving Ass Cobra era Turbonegro thing going on… i.e. when they were a powerful and poignant band and not a stupid ironic parody as a selling point.
Primarily, my interest is in the homegrown stuff and I’m here for Nomatrix… This and the THROUGHPUT EP are cheap independent and worthy Irish punk records. Catch up here.
Deadlamb Records also did a might fine compilation in 2019….