Drokar Records are one of the most polite and welcoming senders of press packs I have ever encountered, the only way they could have topped themselves would have been to have slipped a chocolate hob knob in with Noonakai's 7" single 'Dislocated,' but unfortunately I've just come out of a nostalgic trip-hop marathon session of all the CD's I had in college - Portishead, Sneaker Pimps, Tipper, Lamb etc - which means that my pallet has been treated to some very exquisite sounds served on some very large plates.
I don't quite know how to describe how imitation trip-hop mixed with the sci-fi channel is not something I would willingly put in my ears, but on each track of this release is something so awful that it stuns me into a vocabulary void. I've had to put on my 'Christopher Walken reads children stories' collection to pour some much needed water and commas into my mind.
The guest vocalist on the title track, a one Heidi Fisher - a singer with such a generic voice I started jabbing numbers on my keypad to try and get to customer services - is singing about feeling out of place with her man, a chap so mentally disabled that he's "been working out drunk" sings Heidi - let's just say my face hasn't been this sour since I stumbled home one night and mistook the fresh milk to one of the many 'landmarks of time' old milks that never seem to find their way to the bin. I would explain in detail, but I'll spare her blushes and summarise it like this... whiskey in the bath, crying, past tense descriptions of events, references to space / the universe, statements about life that mean nothing and uses the words 'dancing to the radio'. If relationships turned you into this level of bland turnip then I'm sure we'd all smash our reproductive parts off with rocks and bugger off to the mountains, far away from the 'radio' sounds of Miss Fisher's wise words. I wouldn't pick on this element so much but they've printed it out for me in the pack so... I can't help it.
The second track, 'Thereminians,' would be ok it wasn't for the instantly dated power chord guitar riff that just repeats dully over and over again. I cannot deal with "sci-fi ska instrumental" and it certainly didn't make me "hop from foot to foot", however I did get a little bit of sick in my mouth.
The beats are ok, but it's more tripping-over-old-disused-massive-attack-rhythms-hop then what I think it wants to be and after reading the press reviews of what sounded like something brilliant, I'm left with disappointment. There is just no evidence of craft development on this record, like a teenager with a demo copy of ejay it stumbles around and only changes one element at a time. Noonakai need to put less on their records and concentrate on one sound and really hone it, as throwing layers and layers of stale, limp, basic chord progressions just won't cut it anymore and it would help to employ a lyricist who doesn't write about stars, satellites or the friggin radio.
Noonakai are interesting, but only for a few split seconds while you're remembering another song.
Go listen to Sneaker Pimps, or grate a carrot, seriously, do anything but follow my experience.