May 14, 2020 Hot Nuns – Rude, Dumb & Anxious (EP Review)
While their “day job” is with the exceptionally eclectic outfit Blood Command—who delivered their Return of The Arsonist EP in April 2019—Drummer/Vocalist Sigurd Haakaas and Bassist/Vocalist Yngve Andersen spend their free time dressed as Hot Nuns. Or, well, performing under the moniker. Prepare yourselves: the duo are dishing up their latest EP, Rude, Dumb, & Anxious, on Friday, May 15, 2020 via Loyal Blood Records.
How does one define Hot Nuns? A Norwegian Power Punk Rock garage twosome from Bergen, the band claims influences ranging from Punk titans such as the Ramones and the Clash, to modern bands such as The Faint. Their sound, however, is often heavily embedded in the 1970’s British Punk Rock movement that gave birth to New Wave. Sitting somewhere in that categorization, the Hot Nuns craft energetic tracks that often border on modern Pop-Punk due to their infectious nature.
Such is the case with Rude, Dumb, & Anxious, which was mixed and mastered by Simon Jackman and features artwork from Robert Høyem. The 4-song EP features three brand new tracks from the duo, along with a special cover song. Haakaas and Andersen note: “The record is four tracks of stripped down Punk Rock. It’s only drums, bass and our vocals. We have a rule that if we can’t play it live we can’t put in on record either. So there is no cheating here. Not trying to be pretentious, but we try to make music the same way Lars von Trier made Dogville (2003). No fancy extra layers needed to get the story across.”
Thus, the raw and minimalist Rude, Dumb & Anxious EP opens to the straight-up Punk explosion of “Can’t Get Over You,” where fat bass anchors a catchy inability to move onward. With choruses that lean toward Pop-Punk, Hot Nuns find themselves sounding similar to a Norwegian take on early blink-182 or New Found Glory—so you’re going to have to sing along! However, they flip the script for the darker tones of the moody “I Love You Still, I Always Will,” coating their presentation with a gossamer film of ‘80s New Wave.
Fitting into the collection flawlessly, next they tackle a cover of UK band The Boys’ 1977 Punk rocker “First Time.” A sing-along bop that is as infectious as “Can’t Get Over You,” it sets the stage for the EP’s grand finale—which arrives all too soon. The titular “Rude, Dumb, and Anxious” comes in like a New Wave wet dream anchored in Andersen’s thick bass, snowballing into bratty choruses that remark on the clueless individuals in our society who will say literally anything to fit in and look good.
Obviously, the Rude, Dumb & Anxious EP is succinct at just four tracks, but it’s enough music to get a whole new plethora of fans on board with these Hot Nuns. Taking ‘70s Brit Punk and crossing into New Wave territory, yet always remaining modern, the pair show that their work with Blood Command is merely the beginning. Their talents absolutely soar here, even if we spent the entire EP envisioning them in latex nun outfits. Dazed (and confused) by this visual, Cryptic Rock gives Hot Nuns’ latest 5 of 5 stars.