I nearly died one night in the kitchen of Mexican restaurant I was cooking at. When it came time to clean up the floors at the end of my closing shift, I erroneously (read: stupidly) mixed ammonia and bleach in a mop bucket full of steaming hot water. One breath of that potent mixture and I was seeing stars and scrambling for fresh air. I sometimes wonder what that scene would have looked like to the person that found me the next morning if had I dropped right there; me piled over a mop bucket, butt in the air, face first in the floor sink, with my cheese and verde-covered Doc Martens stuck out to the sides like some sort of punk jester. Anyway, on that night, as with most shifts back then, I was probably listening to something that sounded just like this album on the kitchen’s boom box.
Nonage is the first full-length Autistic Youth record in nearly three years, and their third album overall. These Portland suburbanites play a clean, insistent style of pop punk that’s been injected with a bit of garage rock and ‘80s hardcore, and a healthy dose of classic power pop ala The Buzzcocks. Even though it would be a stretch to make any other 98 Mute comparisons, I can't help but think that the lead vocals sound like Pat Ivie. A track like “Always Running” combines a classic rock-sounding chorus with guitar leads that recall early Social Distortion or Adolescents. Meanwhile “Battles Lost” is derivative of the ‘90s Epitaph and Fat Wreck sing-a-long sound. They’re kind of all over the place here, but somehow it works really well.
Despite being drawn to bands with offensive names I am unfamiliar with Autistic Youths’s work previous to this album. The press sheet describes it as being “more refined” than previous outings, so I am assuming there was a time when these guys played more erratic and/or aggressive (as their name would imply) than they are on this record. And while I'd no doubt prefer the less polished stuff, I also happen to really dig this. With its driving melodies, gang vocals and upbeat tempo, Nonage is the kind of punk rock party music that makes partially-jaded old-school dudes like me drag our butts of the couch and start dancing around; air guitar slung low, legs spread, and head bobbing in tune.
7.0 / 10
This was a hard review to write. It’s not because this EP is bad, but because it’s so damn good. The pandemic has left us all dying to go to ...
Over the grassy knoll, down the weed tangled pathway, and to the right of the small babbling brook lays a large one-hundred-year-old oak tree. It has widely been known that ...
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.