NOside – ‘Rapidassembly’ Review

Posted: by Riley

Although Edison was only in the relatively early stages of their career, their name-change felt like a natural and important step; not only is “Noside” catchier and more unique, it’s downright clever, too. (“Noside” is “Edison” backwards). The same can be said about the Cincinnati quartet’s new LP, Rapidassembly. The record, which falls just short of 22 minutes, is a snappy collection of genre-less pop-rock creations. That is not to say that these songs mark new territory like the inventive hardcore hybrid of La Dispute or the spastic dance-rock of fellow Cincinnatians Fluffer; however, they do represent a unique clash of pop, blues, 90’s rock, and emo-tinged indie. These forces are subtle, but present, separating Noside’s focused charmers from middle-of-the-road pop-rock.

Most <30-minute records are frantic punk rattlers – urgent and punchy in nature (think Celebration Rock, or Never Hungover Again). Rapidassembly, however, is a respectably patient LP; the 8-song release doesn’t feel rushed and certainly does not overstay its welcome. Take ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder,’ for example: clocking in at under 3 minutes, the track is a bluesy slow-burner which juxtaposes a flashy instrumental chorus with some of the LP’s most memorable lyrical nuggets. “You’ll probably find yourself picking pieces of your skin, out of your own skin just to see some red. But then you’ll have proof that color exists in Ohio” frontman Jack Macejko croons, with just the slightest bit of playful condescension. This tone permeates the project, as the singer grapples with the uncertainty of freedom in the wake of a passionless corporate job. This bitterness is familiar to many, and it is the fuel for the fire on Rapidassembly. Opener and album standout ‘Something About Foxes’ finds the band evoking shades of Say Anything and Cursive as Macejko mourns the future he was promised as a child – he is fervently passionate and relatable, as he is throughout the effort. Rapidassembly may not be Noside’s magnum opus, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable step in the right direction.

Score: 7.8/10

FFO: Say Anything, Cursive, Dogs on Acid

Essentials: ‘Something About Foxes,’ ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder,’ ‘Lazarus Capri’