Under Review

No Aloha

No Problemo


Kat Kott

While all us Vancouverites fear that each sunny day will be our last, No Aloha provide buoyant beats to keep us hoping we have the sun for a bit longer. Their new album No Problemo, which dropped late August, is packed with radiant energy and immediately conjures up crashing waves and sunburnt shoulders. Comprised of Montreal natives, Andrew Bates, Ben Griffiths, Fraser Roodbol and Marshall Vaillancourt, No Aloha is situating themselves comfortably as a surfer rock group. And since their tour tape, they’ve seated themselves further into garage rock. With a name like No Aloha, the decision to embrace a more coastal, beach-rock sound makes sense.

The first few songs feature fast tempos and poppy riffs. A particularly notable sing-along track is the song “My Boyfriend’s the Devil.” The album advances with the edges becoming a bit more jagged as a lo-fi feel and reverb become more prominent. The middle begins to sound akin to The Ramones’ surfer anthems. A strong highlight is the song “Main Squeeze.” After many listens, it’s proven exceptionally infectious. The continued riff “I wanna be / I really wanna be / I wanna be your main squeeze” is one that has been sung around my room quite often.

As the album continues, No Aloha tidies up their sound and, while retaining their energy, tightens up their technique. The remaining songs are reminiscent of recent indie-rock bands like the Vaccines or San Francisco band, Girls. The album fades out with a crunchy, wave-like sample that reminds the listener that this is one for the beaches.

No Aloha’s No Problemo feels very multi-generational. Tucked into the middle of the album is the 40 second song “Deep Summer,” which could be a Beach Boys b-side. The slight garage quality that most of the other songs feature seem to be inspired by the rock music of the last quarter of the 20th century. Finally, these influences are all packed together with some songs featuring the crisper, deliberate sound that belongs among other well-produced indie pop songs. While reverb and texture are prominent, the album still displays a degree of skill and intention.