All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt

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As any critic will tell you, its nigh on impossible to capture the craziness, cacophony of sounds and styles, and the outright weirdness of a Nomeansno album on paper (or computer). All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt is no different. A kaleidoscope of music washes out of the stereo, beginning with the cacophony of "Wake Up" and ending with the vaudeville-laced surrealism of the final, untitled hidden track. And in between the slams, bangs, and wallops come another dozen numbers careening across the grooves, a rapid-fire series of dramatic images and aural impressions that leave the listener exhausted and sated by the end. Sometimes it's the weirdness that leaves one stunned, like the Hollywood musical-esque ballad blown up to arena rock proportions on "Faith." Other times, it's the vocals and lyrics, as on the tongue-twisting "I See a Mansion in the Sky," that leave one flabbergasted. Not to mention the musicianship that inevitably leaves one's mouth gaping, be it the spectacular drum rolls that crescendo across the dramatic conclusion of "In Her Eyes" or the warp speed intricate bassline and machine gun guitar assaults in "Mr. In Between." Then, of course, there are the unexpected musical turns, like the melodic twists that run through "So Low" or the tantalizing harmonies blanketing "Til I Die." Beyond that, there are the amazing atmospheres, as with the one that virtually crushes "I'm Dreaming and I Can't Wake Up," which perfectly captures a nightmare's true terror. Finally there are the themes which run the gamut from outrageous to ostentatious. "Mondo Nihlissimo" will invariably spark the biggest firefight: not unexpected when you're recommending pedophilia to relieve the ennui. "Slugs Are Burning" is just surreal, its apocalyptic visions rivaling Revelations. It's a jarring journey, a rampaging ride through musical styles from rock to rap, hardcore to hard rock, its lyrical a roller-coaster ride of humor, sickness, and everything in between. In under an hour NoMeansNo yet again through the undergrowth and underbelly of the rock realm, and with all the piss and vinegar that they started out with a quarter century ago.

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