Not Of

Story

Somewhere around 2012—after years in a self-imposed wilderness of being an adult—John Ex called his friend Victor Malang and said, “Let’s you and I form a band.” This was going to a simple affair. A duo. A guitarist and a drummer, with volume turned to ‘bleed’, phasers set to ‘stun’, and every guitar pedal under the sun…except for maybe an actual phaser.

After years of writing and jamming and recording behind closed doors, the pair finally emerged from hiding with a debut record in tow. Called Pique, it was released in March 2015 as the perfect distillation of their raucous, economic M.O.—eight songs, 30 minutes on the nose. It was ferocious, yet occasionally tuneful. It said its piece and then left the room. Toronto weekly NOW, Chartattack.com, and blogs like hellbound.ca gave it a glowing reviews; podcast Cups N Cakes even named it their top Canadian LP in their Best of 2015 review.

Meanwhile, Not Of gained a reputation as a live duo of spartan, yet monstrous proportions. Loud, yes. But also deft and deceptively full. Not wanting to lose any momentum, they wrote furiously and headed back into the studio in late summer 2015. With ten new songs already written, the plan was to come back within a year with a follow-up. The time for contemplation and design was over. Now, they were just going to blow things up.

But then a funny thing happened. One studio session, turned into two. Then three, then four. And five. The writing never really stopped. And with each gig, the band—and its possibilities—kept evolving. Choosing to listen to what these experiences were teaching them, Not Of returned to its original philosophy—let the record tell you when it’s done, not the other way around.

Finally, nearly twenty songs and over two years after the process began, the record you have before you was finished. At first glance, Hypocritic Oath might not appear to be all that different than its predecessor. At 9 songs and 35 minutes, it’s hardly a double LP left turn that such fussy seclusion might suggest. “Watch Him, They Said” would’ve fit on Pique seamlessly. But the palette has been noticeably broadened.

Tunes like “Barb Dwyer, Esq.” and sludgy centerpiece “The Goat” commit to a type of naked brutality that Pique barely hinted at. Elsewhere, “Astoria Jack” and “Fix Don’t Fix” nestle in hooks more confidently than ever before. But the biggest change is how—for such a still concise album—Hypocritic Oath is not in any hurry to get places. All throughout, it is peppered with found sounds and collages—long moments of hum and distortion soundtracking a sickly meditation. Finally, closing pair “It’s Curtains, She Said” and “You Believers” is a perfect example of how patience has tempered the band’s outlook. The heft abounds, but so does a measured fragility; a frailty that arrives with or without the band’s consent.

For a record all about the cognitive dissonance that walks with most of us through modern life, this is the only way that things could have turned out in the end. Music that sometimes has to be pretty to be ugly; weightless to be heavy. Not Of uses this tension to make Hypocritic Oath as unsettled as it is complete.

Photos

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Media

Press

08-05-2018

VIDEO PREMIERE: Dread Central debuts Not Of’s “Barb Dwyer, Esq.” video!

07-27-2018

Sometimes in life, we want something that we can’t have. That’s what Not Of’s “Astoria Jack” is – at least for Comeherefloyd. Hear it now on the site!

07-27-2018

Check out Exclaim!’s 8/10 review of ‘Hypocritic Oath,’ the new album from Not Of, out now via NO LIST RECORDS!

07-27-2018

Read DOMINIONATED’s excellent review of ‘Hypocritic Oath,’ the new album from Not Of – officially out today!

07-25-2018

ALBUM PREMIERE: Big Takeover Magazine is streaming ‘Hypocritic Oath,’ the new album from Not Of!

07-25-2018

VIDEO PREMIERE: Not Of unveils new video for “Watch Him, They Said” over at PureGrainAudio.com!

07-25-2018

SONG PREMIERE: Cups N Cakes Network have your first listen of “The Goat,” the latest single to be taken from Not Of’s forthcoming ‘Hypcritic Oath’ LP!

07-02-2018

Listen to “Astoria Jack,” Not Of’s ‘ferocious, spiky riff-driven smasher,’ over at Soundsphere magazine!

07-02-2018

Hear great tracks from SAVVIE, The Flatliners, Summerteeth, and Not Of in episode four of New Transcendence via Stitcher!

06-26-2018

SONG PREMIERE: New Noise Magazine have your first listen of “Astoria Jack” by Not Of!

11-11-2015

Great interview with Not Of at The Perfect Scene – Blog.

They not only mention Unwound, and Drive Like Jehu, but also Kittens. Kittens should be mentioned waaaaaay more often.

11-11-2015

NewCanadianMusic.ca has the “The Mark” by Not Of as their “Video of the Moment” today.

11-11-2015

New Not Of album featured on Jungle Indie Rock.

“They wont disappoint you, believe me”

10-26-2015

Not Of are part of The Revue’s weekend showcase!

10-26-2015

“The Mark” by Not Of was part of ‘The Matinee’ on The Revue. Listen at the link!

10-26-2015

Not Of on Quick Before It Melts with new video!

“…one-two-guitars-and-drums-punch colour you black and blue with their relentless, noisy rock goodness.”  

10-26-2015

Video of the day: the new one from Not Of gets the honour from Northern Transmissions.

10-14-2015

Not Of’s first video for “The Mark” is premiering now at PopMatters!

“For all the attention fashionable noise rock bands such as Metz and the Band Formerly Known As Viet Cong have received, another Canadian band has quietly put out a debut album that is just as good, or perhaps even better than those two buzzworthy acts.”