Wednesday, December 14, 2011
N.M.A.- s/t EP review
Powerviolence is one of those extraordinarily touchy things: It can be too epic (Mind Eraser), too straight-edge (Crucial Unit), lacking a bass player (ironically, the band being reviewed here), or too elusive (XBraniax). Though I love all of these aforementioned bands, it’s rather difficult to get past some of these shortcomings. However, I will periodically discover a good powerviolence band, one that breaks away from these negative attributes and manages to pound (grind?) out some snappy, short sonic bursts. This is one such band.
On an alternative note, it seems that there is a growing powerviolence and grind scene here in Michigan, and to a greater extent in the Midwest. How the hell so much work goes into such short songs confuses me, but I shall relish it nonetheless. Anyway, onward with the review.
N.M.A. (short for Negative Mental Attitude) is a three-piece group based out of Jackson. Though they are somewhat new to Michigan’s punk scene, they’ve already gained a reputation (good or bad reputation, you decide). Though this E.P. clocks in at just over six minutes, it leaves one feeling satisfied, fulfilled, and beyond. The guitars are down-tuned as hell, and it sets the ominous tone of N.M.A.’s angry anthems; it chugs and grinds as is appropriate for the speed set by the drums, which is bass-heavy and snare-plenty, so to speak. In fact, the bass drums are a bit too heavy, overcompensating for the lack of a bassist. The vocal point of N.M.A. is a bulldog roar, frequently indecipherable and always powerful. Lyrical content is only describable as pissed off; it lives up to the name N.M.A. well.
I was pretty impressed with this E.P.; the passion, lyrics, and music, it’s all there. Given a bass player and some higher quality gear to record with, this band would absolutely be vinyl worthy. It’s also worth mentioning that N.M.A. is a great contrarian take on the “PMA”; the positivity of a “PMA” is generally overshadowed by the laughably stereotypical nature of those who use the term. Remember, it is a negative attitude that prompts the discovery of life’s problems; it is the positivity that solves them.