If Faster Pussycat’s Taime Downe’s were to take over frontman duties for a kinder, gentler Pennywise, the resulting groove might sound something like None More Black. Gruff on the vocals yet often smooth and melodic on the rhythm, NMB is an East Coast quartet that recently released its debut album “File Under Black” on Fat Wreck Chords.
A solid first effort, File Under Black is everything you would expect from an edgy, modern-day punk record. Fortunately for the listener, the absence of sugar-sweet harmonies and Jason Shevchuk’s gravelly voice saves the band’s happier tunes from entering the bottomless pop-punk pit.
Highlights include the mid-tempo, Dropkick Murphys vibe of “The Affiliates” and the high-powered “Ice Cream With the Enemy,” which has a few dissonant surprises and well-timed dramatic pauses. Speaking of dissonance, “Zero Tolerance Drum Policy” comes off like Voivod on speed (sorry, wind-up Piggy and Snake action figures not included).