Blast From the Past and MP3: :Nobuhjest:'s Self-Titled EP ... Don't Call It "Emo!"

Self-titled EP (Smooth Lips Records)

As cool and casual as it might be to sit here and make and odd and/or end out of the whole post - punk, post - hardcore, post - post - post - whatever debacle, I feel like I've been beating off into the frappe blender for much too long without having to go into particulars. I mean, who cares about "post-anything" as long as the music is good, right? Have we exhausted all the cool ways of writing about rock and roll music? 

So that aside, it gets me a little giddy to talk about a little outfit that existed in South Florida in that awkward growing spurt of the mid-90's, :Nobuhjest:. Yes, with the colons. 

Formed in 1994 and dissolved sometime in 1997, :Nobuhjest: was the product of singer/guitarist David, bassman Michael, and drummer Sean. The guys were previously comfortable in both contemporary punk rock outfits and the slightly more experimental scenester bands, and in :Nobuhjest: blended all of these influences with a rash of hardcore thrown in for good measure. 

The band what it did with style and a simplicity that, upon further review, reveals a complex layer of artistic and creative energy on which some of my colleagues in the past have slapped the "emo" label, for no apparent good reason. So, if a bunch of dudes happen to play their instruments well and with panache, that makes them "emotional?" Gimme a fucking break. 

Okay, so this little seven-inch record clocks in slightly under the eight-minute mark, and both songs, "Golden Rey" and "Apart," work well together. They are similar in certain aspects, but manage to thrill and explore individually. (An MP3 of "Apart" is available below.)

Think of Jade Tree Records bands (The Promise Ring, Joan of Arc), mix in a little Swiz or the later incarnation of Sweetbelly Freakdown, the obvious stylistic points of Jawbreaker and Seaweed, and the vocal aspects of Texas' Gomez. With all of that, you'll get an idea of where the band's mind frame was during the production of this record. 

Released by Mike Borras' Smooth Lips Records, the EP was recorded and engineered by Jeremy Dubois at Tapeworm Studios. While I'm unsure on the press run, I'm pretty sure that it neared the 500 mark and that's no easy feat, given that all the covers were individually hand-made and decorated.

And here's my personal point of contention, because there usually is a personal angle here. My own copy of the record has probably the simplest cover they produced! I mean, it's still hand-made and whatnot, but I would later see some editions with mosaics of mirror pieces and paint. I felt, at least temporarily, a little sad.

Currently, Sean is the drummer for local darlings Modernage and Mike has kept himself busy with Map of the Universe, Foreign Bodies, and Beings, the latter of which will perform with the Getback this Saturday at Sweat Records. 

And no, the cover image above is not my personal copy. I got that from the Internet via my buddy Chip's web site, The South Florida Scene Past and Present, because it's more aesthetically pleasant than mine. And no, I have no idea as to the meaning behind the band's name or the use of colons in it.

MP3: :Nobuhjest: - "Apart"

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