Long-running Edmonton street punk torchbearers the Wednesday Night Heroes haven't released anything since 2007's Exclaim!-approved Guilty Pleasures LP, but a hiatus hasn't slowed down their enthusiastic frontman Graeme MacKinnon. Instead, he decided to spend his time on his other project, No Problem.
"Inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger's deer-feeding scene in Commando, the four of us decided that it was time to start a hardcore punk group that went back to basics," MacKinnon explains to Exclaim! Thus, No Problem were born and the group have already released two EPs, with their debut album And Now This hitting record stores earlier this month.
That "back to basics" approach means the influences are slightly different than his previous project, as MacKinnon says, "With Wednesday Night Heroes, it was definitely inspired by British punk, while this is just about taking our love for early L.A. punk and hardcore-type bands like Circle Jerks, the Weirdoes, the Adolescents, TSOL and mixing it with the rawness of some early Canadian groups like Subhumans, Viletones and D.O.A."
For a producer on And Now This, No Problem joined forces with Fucked Up's Jonah Falco earlier this year. "We knew it was definitely gonna be lo-fi and sparse, but we didn't realize just how minimal [Falco] was talking," MacKinnon recalls. "We showed up to the 'studio,' which was the Fucked Up jam space, and looked at his beat-up drum set surrounded by gear and one microphone dangling in front of it. The first thought that went through my mind was, 'Oh, man, let's turn around and get the fuck outta here.'"
Fortunately, the band stuck around and Falco's raw production style proved to be the ideal medium for the group's no-frills punk anthems. No Problem are a band full of energy and with things to get off their chests, a fact captured well on And Now This.
"I get so angry with so many half-assed groups putting out half-assed music that doesn't say anything anymore," MacKinnon says, before dropping a lengthy rant about the lack of substance in bands spanning from the mainstream to the punk scene. "I guess what I'm saying is we want to write music that is from the gut, in the moment and that says something... It might not be the right thing, but at least it's something."
And Now This is available from Deranged Records, while the Paranoid Times and Your Eyes EPs are available now from Handsome Dan Records.
And Now This:
1. "Suffocate City"
2. "Most Days"
4. "I Don't Want It"
5. "Wish You Were Here"
6. "Isn't This Fun"
7. "Paranoid Times"
8. "R'N'R Deathcamp"
9. "Ghost Car"
10. "Spoiled Little Jerk"
11. "I Got A Bomb"
12. "The Cure"
13. "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"