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The No Ones | My Best Evil Friend (2023)


The No Ones release My Best Evil Friend, their first full-length collection since 2020 on Yep Roc Records. Paying tribute to the artists that inspire them and populate their turntables, My Best Evil Friend channels Nick Lowe, Pamela Polland, Marvin Gaye, Jenny Lewis, Jesse Ed Davis, ? & The Mysterians, Plastic Ono Band, and Phil Ochs, among others. My Best Evil Friend was realized in the way it was required, bouncing tracks back and forth from studios in Norway to the Dungeon Of Horror in Portland, Oregon, with a few other helpful home-recorders. Arne and Frode were able to track live guitars and drums together in Oslo, which somehow gives the vibe of a combo rockin’ a high school gym – owing much to the engineering work of Bård Ingebrigtsen, who also did the final mixes.

The No Ones: My Best Evil Friend

Whereas Great Lost Album was imagined as being discovered in 2054 by a retro-hipster-scribe in Mojo (“The Last Magazine”), the latest is a blurry tribute to our own LP collections and memories, the artists that populate our turntables, and those that continue to inspire us. Not exactly in linear or transparent ways, but you’ll find shadows of Plastic Ono Band, Joe Tex, Sugar Pie de Santo, Nick Lowe, beat poet Michael McClure, Blind Tom, Pamela Polland, Dean Martin, and on and on. There are even outright paeans to George Harrison, Jenny Lewis, and Phil Ochs, among others. And once again the quartet has enlisted contributions from generous friends, through the voices of Debbi Peterson (Bangles), Norman Blake (Teenage Fan Club), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie), as well as ‘lead bass’ from Camper Van Beethoven’s Victor Krummenacher, and strings from Marin Ballemo Bakke.

With a 2020 tour of Norway repeatedly Covid-canceled, as well as lost appearances at Roskilde and other festivals, you might think it makes sense to hang it up. Well, it does, but that’s not the way it works. When downtime is forced upon you, the committed musician just turns it into more songs, more records, more life. The No Ones still hope to meet you all in person, but for now, let’s hope that My Best Evil Friend can at least pull you into their orbit, like a beacon from RKO. Robert Stove

US/Norwegian collaboration produces an occasionally retro but always impressive sound. With a line-up that stretches from Norway through Athens, Georgia, to the Northwest corner of the U.S., The No Ones are comprised of Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen, and Frode Strømstad. And yes, it is that Peter Buck. The first edition double LP comprises 18 tracks so there is plenty of Buck for your money (sorry!).
After a couple of early, noisy rockers the album settles into a groove of jangly guitars, big, bold chorus lines with lots of harmonies and the hugely impressive contribution of Mathisen on drums. If Buck is the attention grabber with those guitar riffs then Mathisen is an equal partner in the scheme of things.
With those guitars and harmonies The Byrds are brought to mind on a number of occasions none more so than on ‘Time Sent Lewis’. Compared with most of the album this is a gentle and dreamy piece but close your eyes and it really does feel like a slice of Californian 60s history come to life. For a companion piece in style and tone turn to ‘Solo In The End’. Americana-UK

  • KLIV
  • 304 Molino Way
  • Phil Ochs Is Dead
  • Song for George
  • Blue Cheer Captain
  • Cameo Parkway
  • One Night at the Fillmore
  • Throwdown in Whispertown
  • Time Sent Lewis
  • Band with No Head
  • We Are Your Band
  • The After Party

Audio CD:


Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ Yep Roc Records
Original Release Date ‏ : ‎ 2023
Date First Available ‏ : ‎ January 10, 2023
Label ‏ : ‎ Yep Roc Records
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BRJ3ZT55
Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1

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