Label: Contra Records
Date: September 15th, 2023
New blood, old bones. It is written on the insert of this vinyl. Honestly, there really is no better description of this band. Their attitude, that is. Experienced (and then some) faces, but with blood boiling as with a puberty-stricken kid.
Then again, the music on display is very old. Very old and very versatile, where it is obvious that behind these notes there are people whose ears have been loaded with all sorts of music for decades now. A range of nuances gathered in “Generations of the Wasteland” is unexpectedly wide. However, we are dealing with experienced musicians, so that the album remains coherent throughout.
Now, in its essence “Generations of the Wasteland” is a dirty streetpunk rock record. That’s the label to stick on Nagön’s drawer. Still, it is a broad description and fails to cover the mentioned nuances. Take, for instance, the rock in Nagön’s punk rock. The band takes influence from the primordial rock ‘n’ roll, that time when white people broke segregation to steal the flame from the dusty barns. But they also pick through the pockets of hard rocking legends such as AC / DC or Motörhead.
Once these foundations are set, Nagön felt the urge (pun very much intended) to visit a punk drive through. Picking up bits and pieces of streetpunk, Oi! and traditional punk, the boys are shipped across the pond to acquire a neat little hardcore garnish. Thus painted, we could have been given a scattered collage. To a degree, we did get it, but only if we put it under a clear spotlight. Like I have to. Being a reviewer, it’s my job.
Yet, when I stop thinking of ways to describe the record, it is very much an enjoyable collection of songs. First off, these tracks are quite catchy. Again, the experience behind these grey heads shines through. They aren’t novices with creating songs that are easy to remember, driving enough to invoke movement in front of the stage and engaging for the crowd that can get involved either with the singing along the choruses or the ever-present gang-vocalized “woooahs”.
And what’s there to singalong about? Well, Nagön’s world isn’t black and white. It is grey. Very much so. They are staring at a dark side of life and interhuman relationships. Even when Nagön sees the light at the end of a tunnel, they see it through untiring struggle, not giving up even when the exit is unreachable. On the other hand, when the goings get tough and you lose, Nagön is here to tell you that loss is also a part of the game and moving on is essential. If once you fail, try again. Different way, angle, approach or wholly different goal, but always eyes on the prize.
Basically, take a closer look at the cover artwork. There might be a ruin. Only rubble left of what once gave someone a roof overhead, warmth or a sense of comfort. But in the midst of all the dust, arises a middle finger graffiti. That very much says it all about the attitude behind “Generations of the Wasteland”.
It completes the tale of the debut LP by the “barbarian horde”, as Nagön declare themselves. Somewhere around twenty-nine minutes of urban, dirty punk rock. Commendable effort.