Workin’ Man Noise Unit – Play Loud

Posted: 12 October 2015 in Albums

Workin’ Man Noise Unit – Play Loud

Riot Season – ReposeLP049 – November 2015

Christopher Nosnibor

There’s no question that it’s easier than ever for a band to get their music out and on a platform where it has the potential to be heard around the globe. But with so much music out there, it’s perhaps harder than ever to get that music actually heard. How realistic is it to actually tap into that potential global audience? Being good, even mind-blowingly awesome simply isn’t enough. Ironically, then, as (major) labels implode, collapsing in confusion over the state of ‘the industry’ one could argue that bands need labels more than ever. But the real point here is that the big money – or even any money – simply isn’t there for any act who isn’t in the upper echelons. Small wonder that even seemingly ‘successful’ bands nowadays have day jobs. For example, Pissed Jeans might be signed to Sub Po, but judging by their lyrics, they’re hardly raking it in as progenitors of visceral grunge.

So, when it comes to the less successful bands… and I say this without wishing to denigrate the achievements of this act but…. well, I suspect the members of WMNU have day jobs, or otherwise got sacked from them for turning up late and hungover, not least of all judging by their self-effacing bio, in which they state ‘Our crummy band is called WORKIN’ MAN NOISE UNIT. Apostrophe, no G. (Yeah, all the good names were taken, OK.) From Reading, UK. We are drums, noise, bass, guitar, vocals, sound, energy, bad jokes, the smell of stale beer on sticky floors. Break out a cold one or two, hit a few chords, see how it sounds. Live, tonight, not sold out.’

Over the last five years, they’ve been busy ‘playing countless gigs, releasing limited run tapes/singles and making a nuisance of themselves on postage stamp sized stages around the country’. They’ve won a few fans and friends along the way, and Play Loud should, if there’s any justice, score them a few more.

Play Loud is rough ‘n’ ready, unpretentious. It’s the kind of riotous racket that hollers ‘release from long hours spent in shit office job’ or ‘hacked off with dealing with customers and need space to vent’. It’s hard-hitting, grimy, feedback-filled rock, rugged, sweaty and unglamourous. You could never describe it as being overproduced, but that’s a virtue: it’s all about capturing the energy and the immediacy of a band giving it a hundred per cent. It’s grungy, lo-fi, and whether it’s the sound or white or blue collar rage, the end result is a beige ring of perspiration around the somewhat worn Asda shirt collar.

This, of course, is the true essence of rock ‘n’ roll: fuck work, play it loud.



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