Let me preface this review by stating what was immediately obvious to me upon listening to NO's track "Meet Me After Dark": This band is professional, sounds good, is very poppy but still sounds barable to my ears, and is something to watch over as they continue their musical work. The band NO is the brain child of members Nick Jarzabek (Vocals, Guitar, Songwriter), Tim Jarzabek (Drums), Mike Jarzabek (Piano, Keyboards), and Justin Jarzabek (Bass). They are originally from Sandpoint, Idaho, however now are based in Los Angeles. They claim their influences to be primarily The Beatles and U2, though without a doubt one can hear a variety of different influences stemming from pop, rock, and even folk musicians in their work.
SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE BAND:
NO was originally named "No Cover" until Bono from U2 called Nick and suggested they change their name to just "NO." Each member loved the new name and thought it fit them perfectly. Just say NO to abuse, bullying, hate, abuse, whatever you like. It resonated with the band.
Nick, Tim, and Mike are brothers and have been playing music together since they were 5 years old. They met Justin in Los Angeles and were an instant match.
Their original guitar player Chris Reynolds died unexpectedly at age 19 which changed the brothers dramatically.
The band has travelled around the world to promote peace and perform music. They've been to the West Bank, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Germany among other countries.
Their new Single Meet Me After Dark is Beatles inspired and is available everywhere now. They have an original christmas song as well, which was released on Thanksgiving titled "It's Christmas Time." Their EP will be out around January.
As is pretty evident, NO is a very focused musical and social endeavor. A lot of emotion and influence found within the condition of the world has inspired them to create music.
Now, getting to review their first single titled "Meet Me After Dark."
"Meet Me After Dark" was an unexpected piece of music when I initially listened to it. My taste in pop music is very so-so, as I will only listen to very few bands that work in this specific genre. Fortunately, bands NO takes major influence from (The Beatles and U2 respectively) are actually very listenable artists in the pop/rock genre; so NO's music easily fit in the scope of what I would be willing to check out without a doubt. The actual sound of this track is perhaps one of the best recordings I have had the pleasure to review here on InfoBarrel. It begins with strumming acoustic guitar, and continually builds up with a great sound bass (that actually has some interesting licks from time to time), as well as a synth in the background adding fullness to the music and creating an atmosphere that envelopes the listeners ears. When the drums come into the song, they provide a very steady beat; and while they do not do anything particularly special throughout the track, they certainly drive the piece ahead. I honestly have no complaints in the sound department on this single, as it appears to have been recorded professionally; and by a professional who does not overdo any effects or compression (like so many pop songs these days tend to have problems with). It is really just excellent sound quality by and large.
LYRICS AND VOCALS:
The vocals on this track are excellently done. I really enjoy Nick Jarzabek's vocal tonality. It reminds me heavily of U2's Bono in many respects, and it ultimately carries this track which is heavy on rhythm. The vocal melodies definitely captured my attention, and the choral lines only make me picture a stadium rock band with many people dancing and singing along. Near the end of the song the vocalist switches to a falsetto/soprano which changes the vibe of the track considerably and adds a much needed change in the vocal tone. That was very well done. Lyrically, we are treated to high soaring choral lines like this: "Meet me after dark/I'm gonna get that far/I'm gonna steal your heart/Believe me when I say to you/There aint nothing to it/All you gotta do is do it." As a result, the lyrics work very well in this pop/rock genre, though they are not particularly awe inspiring outside of the context of the music. They are very functional, though, and serve their purpose very well within the song; just do not expect lyrics on par with poetry of Shakespeare. Being pop music, the music is certainly more about the singablility then the lyric writing; and so long as the melodies or lyrics are not cheesey (these are not at all), then the song will undoubtedly be great to check out. So, summing up: the vocals and lyrics on this single are excellent overall and will undoubtedly appeal to people who listen to pop/rock music worldwide.
The instrumentation on this track is well done, though a little bit too rhythmic for my own tastes. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, however I am much more inclined to listen to music heavy on lead instruments (such as a lead guitar, solos, and so forth). It is important to remember that the focus of this music primarily placed on the vocals, which do indeed provide excellent melodies and carry the track. Being a single, I can certainly understand the structure and instrumentation that this track is built upon; and I only hope that some future songs will allow the other musicians in the band to stand out a little bit more from time to time. My qualm is certainly on that is very subjective, and likely results from being a musician myself. To a majority of listeners though, this music will sound spot on to their interests. The acoustic guitar strums away with a very accessible chord progression, the bass rumbles in the background providing a bass rhythm, the drums are rather simple but effective, and the synths are perhaps the most notable as they occasionally blend some melodies into their rhythmic layering on the track. I have little to complain about as it stands, I just wish there was more (I guess that's the purpose of a album or EP though, right?)
NO's track "Meet Me After Dark" has inspired multiple listens, spanning multiple days, by me. That is no easy feat considering my musical interests to be more focused on darker genres of music that typically go unnoticed in the mainstream (black metal, neo-folk, post-rock, and similar styles). Still, I am a musician and try to be objective in my analysis of music; and I have a tendency to pick out good music despite the genre. NO is very enjoyable, and takes influence from relatively enjoyable bands that people worldwide enjoy. The band has a vision in mind that not only spans music, but is a social movement as well. This focus sparked my interest in this band, as I enjoy artists who are focused in many aspects of life. As a result, their music has a proverbially higher purpose.
The actual sound quality of this track is highly professional. The instrumentation, vocals, and lyrics are all equally well done; with few problems I could seem to hold onto. "Meet Me After Dark" is a very accessible track, and I am certain in the time to come the music of NO will be taking up the radio waves and potentially winning awards of some sort, assuming the music they continue to release is on par with this track. I highly recommend checking out this band, and hope my review of this track has provided you with some excellent insight into these musicians. Of course, don't just take my word for it.
You can check out NO's social media links and purchase their single "Meet Me After Dark" at the links below: