It’s hard times around the world as we all endure the caging and boredom caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic and this little baby is just what the doctor ordered! A 9 track debut album called “Obstreperous” brought to our attention by newly formed Perth based rockers – NEIN. (Due for release on Friday April 24th 2020)
Maybe some of you have discovered them already as three of their singles from the album climb the Triple J Unearthed charts. (Punk Chart – The Fun One @ 4, Prunk @ 6 & All Genre Chart – The Fun One @ 48, Prunk @ 66 and Hell Yeah @ 63).
I gotta say..this album had me having my very own ‘RAVE PARTY’ at my desk and beyond…like in as many places that you could think of in a one bedroom isolation apartment…kinda disturbed my husband who is working from home but hey – priorities right!!
Right from the first note I was transported back to the heyday of punk in the 70’s and most notably for those of us old enough to remember – the sounds of Poly Styrene and X-Ray Spex! The fire, the fun, the energy and all the trimmings and a reckoning as close to their British counterparts as any fledgling Australian band should be proud to own.
“Obstreperous” is a raucous affair and holds an explosive presence. Let me give you just a little peep into the inner realm – My favourite track is Prunk, the best surprise on the album Delicious Jam (no vocals) and nothing is ever perfect, the lead vocal in Bamboo was a bit buried in the mix! Still I’m giving “Obstreperous” a solid and deserved 9.5/10 …absolutely loved it!!
NEIN are a four-piece band hailing from Perth, Western Australia who came together in 2019. They describe their sound as Glunge – a mix between glam rock and grunge, with a bit of metal and punk thrown in too. The vocal ‘pocket rocket’ is frontwoman Kristie Butler, the drummer is Daniel Schulze, the guitar player is Kal Englishby and Michael Williams is the bass guiarist.
Of course when you enjoy something so much it’s never enough to just leave it at a listen or two and thanks to the magic of the ‘interwebby’ an interview via email provides an insight straight into NEIN and “Obstreperous” from the band themselves…
KRISTIE – MICHAEL – DANIEL – KAL
The album’s name is “Obstreperous” What’s the origin of that name?
KB: So we were really in struggle-town, squabbling over what we wanted to call the album. I was reading one afternoon and came across this word which I had never heard of before. I looked it up, and it was defined as “noisy and difficult to control”, and then a lightbulb appeared over my head – perfect!
Who is responsible for the songwriting for “Obstreperous”?
MW: Music-wise it always comes from either a bass line or complete outline I’ve written at home that I bring to the jam room. Dan locks in and we write the bones of the song. Guitar and vocals sit on it for a few weeks playing around with and against it until they get a feel for the song, and then it’s just tweaking from there.
KB: So we all contribute to the songwriting, but Michael’s basslines are the jumping-off point.
What’s your favourite track on the album and why?
KE: I love them all, but I have a soft spot for Hell Yeah as that’s the one that made me think “I have to be a part of this awesome band,” and now here I am.
KB: I have so many favourite bits of songs, like the headbangy bit in Hell Yeah, the middle 8 in Small Town Pride etc but my favourite full song is probably Sick of You, the guitar and bass parts are all so good! Do you know what? I changed my mind, it’s Delicious Jam – the one song that has none of me haha – because I can just listen to the genius of my bandmates.
MW: It changes on my mood, but Prunk is probably the one I’m most proud of. That’s my sort of writing style and the type of stuff I come up with at home, plus it’s hard hitting and emotive. But Hell Yeah too, I just love playing that groove, it’s crunchy and delicious.
DS: I love The Fun One because it’s just fun to play and also could imagine that its a good welcome song to our Band .
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
DS: I don’t think there is anything hidden, you can hear our different styles of music and also def straight lyrics so I don’t think so haha.
KB: Turns out Dan is wrong, we are actually all in the Illuminati. (This is a joke. Or is it?) (…It is.) As the band’s lyricist, I would say there is absolutely hidden meaning in our music, while sometimes I can be overly direct in our lyrics, such as in I Don’t Wanna Hear It, songs like Small Town Pride and most especially Prunk are more personal to me and I deliberately kept the lyrics a little mysterious. I want people to hear our music and apply their own meaning to how it makes them feel, so yes, there is definitely hidden meaning in our music, hidden even to us. Sorry Daniel, you know I love you!
What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
KE: I think I’ve been the biggest challenge! Hahaha. The original guitarist – Adam ‘Bucko’ Buckley – is an incredible musician but for a mountain of reasons couldn’t commit to being in bands anymore… so I stepped in and in a short amount of time had to learn how to be Bucko, which is kind of impossible if you’ve ever been lucky enough to see him play – he’s a freak. The band has been super patient in accommodating me while I sharpen my skills, learn Bucko’s riffs and contribute to new songs. I have to say Michael in particular has been an incredible support and really drives our musical development.
MW: Holding down a guitarist. Kal – the pressure is on. Hahaha. No, the biggest challenge is getting a good foldback sound at live shows.
DS: To find a replacement on the guitar and that was pretty quick sorted (thanks Michael) otherwise nothing too heavy yet to be honest, I guess try to be on the same level in some ways but otherwise i couldn’t tell you that we had something massive going on.
What’s your ultimate direction for your band?
MW: Forward! Write, play, have fun doing it.
KE: More music. More live shows. More listeners.
DS: That people dig our music (in Australia would be a good start haha) and then kind of like Pinky and the Brain business, haha.
What is it about the way you do what you do, that you feel might separate you from others who try to do that?
MW: The difference is each of us come from different musical backgrounds, which becomes evident when we write. It just makes writing unpredictable, interesting, fun and a real joy.
DS: I think to bring the music together because that’s hard when you listen to different music and with us I feel it just works. I don’t know (If i would ask Michael to go with me to Taylor Swift, that would not gonna happen haha, maybe ask him 🙂 ).
KB: Showpersonship! We are a sexy, angry, ecstatic, shiny and LOUD band and we will kick your dick and/or flaps off with our awesome live show. Am I allowed to swear? I just did.
KE: We’ve had to make up a new word to define our sound. We’re Glunge and you’ll have to listen to know why.
Now that all that’s said and done I suppose you’ll want to know ‘where’ and ‘when’?It’s your lucky day…today!! “Obstreperous” is being released today Friday 24th April on all popular streaming platforms.
Yes, yes…off you go now quickly and grab a listen, in the bands own words – NEIN are coming for you, they’re making a hell of a racket and there’ll be no controlling the wild success they are sure to have.