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The No-No's

The No-No's are yet another project cooked up by those busy, prolific indie rock characters who populate the great Pacific Northwest. In this case, things got started in Portland when vocalist Robin Bowser and now-departed drummer Heather Dunn (Tiger Trap, Lois) found they couldn't agree on a single band both liked, so they decided to start one of their own. They promptly got Ralf Youtz (Built To Spill, The Halo Benders, The Feelings) to play some mean bass and Mike Clark (Surf Maggots, Underwear Machine) to practice his guitar wizardry. Next thing they knew, they had a spunky, tuneful punk-pop band. Eventually, Dunn would leave to bang skins for The Bangs and Dub Narcotic, and was ably replaced by new drummer Dan Heller.

It's sort of difficult to completely pin down their style, and obviously the band likes it that way. They definitely sound like they're from the Pacific Northwest. That can mean a lot of things of course, but in this case we're talking about the charming but assertive buzzing pop of people like Tullycraft, Tiger Trap, and The Crabs. Bowser's cheerful, exuberant warble is laced with just a bit of sarcasm, mirroring the band's instrumental approach: lots of noisy hooks and a little acid. All in all, an agreeable sound: bouncy but not light, sweet but definitely tough.

The No-No's issued their debut full-length, Secret Luminaries, on Chromosome Records in 1997 (Dunn was still with the band for that release). They followed it up with the incongruously titled Tinnitus on Animal World in 2000.

In 2002, The No-No's dished out Let Your Shadow Out, their third helping of rough-and-tumble ramshackle indie rock, this one on the brief side, featuring seven songs clocking in at just under 18 minutes. There's nothing truly remarkable about the album; it's just a bunch of musicians with other (better-known) projects having a good time, giving it a loose, unpretentious feel. If you long for the halcyon days of rebellious and infectious Pac Northwest punk-pop, this will be right up your alley.

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