This really rather swanky CD from Birmingham four-piece Mr Nobody is technically a demo, but it's clearly one with a fair whack of budgeting clout behind it. Less about the tunes than it is about the low-intensity white-outs full of such novel effects as modem dial-tones and the click of extractor fans, it creates a drifting, unfocused noise over which the rather put-out vocals howl and grouch. Coming across as more melting-pot-luck than it does deliberate composition, on first listen it strikes one as definitely surreal and possibly even avant garde. But is it good?
Well... almost. Sometimes. The problem with this EP is that it never feels very coherent, very focused. It almost gives the impression that the band members are trying to out-freak each other - that rather than attempting to create a group impact they're competing to be the weirdest. And when an EP's so fuzzy and white-out-heavy as this one, you really need some sense of group cohesion and drive in order to hold the listener's attention. Without that, all there is to listen to is a group of people fucking around with weird effects. Which is very clever... but spend much time listening to people being Clever At You and it's hard not to feel them to be smug gits.
Of course, I don't know whether Mr Nobody actually are smug; it's quite likely that they aren't. But this EP is - and because of that, Mr Nobody's wall-of-noise wow-factor quickly fades in the mind to leave nothing but an itchy residue of boredom and irritation. The ingredients for an impressive band are there, it's just that they don't cohere. But they could; if Mr Nobody work out how to record something which sounds like a band pulling together rather than like a load of musicians improvising at weirder-than-thou cross-purposes, they could impress. As things stand, however, they don't quite make the grade.